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Black History Month: events happening in and around the South Downs

Black History Month: events happening in and around the South Downs

September 28, 2023

October is Black History Month UK.

It is not only an opportunity to celebrate and rediscover Black histories in the South Downs and our surrounding communities, but a chance to reflect and learn.

Here’s a rundown of events happening across Hampshire, West Sussex and East Sussex.

If you know of an event that isn’t featured here, please email eventbookings@southdowns.gov.uk and we’ll add it to the list.


The Black History Month South launch event takes place on Thursday, 28 September from 11am to 2pm at St Mary’s Fire Station, Southampton. Through the lens of heritage, they will embrace the cultural legacies that have shaped black communities around the world.

Southampton’s first ever Black Businesses, Art and Music (BBAM) Festival will take place in the city on 1 October.

Taking highlights from his books History Through the Black Experience, writer Simon Hudson will explore intriguing stories honouring the significant achievements of women of colour, that have often been overlooked but are now being discovered and celebrated. The talk, Saluting Our Sisters! Celebrating Women of Colour, takes place at Southampton Central Library Civic Centre on 12 October.

On Monday 23 October, there will be a Black Stories Screening at Southampton’s MAST Mayflower Studios. This will be an evening showcasing the lives of phenomenal women from Southampton’s African, Caribbean and Black British communities. Their stories will be told through three-minute mobile videos produced, filmed and edited by the storytellers themselves.

West Sussex

Chichester Cathedral will be hosting a special service to mark Black History Month.

The service will take place on 7 October with guest preacher Guy Hewitt, the Church of England’s first Racial Justice Director. People are warmly invited to come and hear how schools have been building on their Racial Justice work throughout the year with contributions from student Racial Justice ambassadors and contributions from school choirs.

East Sussex

Superstar singer Gabrielle comes to Brighton and Hove on 30 October as part of her 30 Years of Dreaming tour which will see her celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of her era-defining smash hit #1 single Dreams and perform highlights from her catalogue of hits, which also include Rise, Out Of Reach and Sunshine.

Robert Mitchell is one of Britain’s finest and most versatile pianist-composer-improvisor. He will be performing solo for the first time at the Verdict – and launches his second collection of poetry/audiobook – City Of Sanctuary on 14 October.

Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole and G. Hastings met as kids and set their bodies against the tide. From the beginning they were obstinately not going to do what was expected. A truly enigmatic band with a fabulously hard to define sound, fighting definition, the trio will be performing on 20 October at Brighton Dome.

If you’re visiting Seven Sisters and the Sussex Heritage Coast, be sure to listen to the ‘We Hear You Now’ audio trail where you can listen to several audio stories by female Black artists and inspired by Black History on the famous coastline.