Every October in the UK, Black History Month is celebrated across the UK and this year, with the support of their Town Council (which recently formally adopted an Anti-Racism Pledge) Weston-super-Mare is leading the way in North Somerset by joining in the celebrations and putting itself on the map as a place of culture with free events around the town.

What was initially planned by a small group of volunteers from the NS BME Network, a local charity, has rapidly grown beyond all expectations for the first year.

Working in partnership with key organisations, the month got off to an excellent start with the ‘Proud To Be’ exhibition at The CHAT Room, opened by the Mayor. This will run all month, and all are welcome. (The CHAT Room is staffed entirely by volunteers, so do check the website for opening times.)

Projects and activities underway include:

– A new website, in partnership with Weston College’s SpaceBar – https://www.blackhistorymonth-ns.org.uk

– New social media channels on www.facebook.com/BHMNS and Twitter @BHM_NS

– The Launch of CHAT Room (https://www.thechatroom.org.uk) Community Hub Action Team (CHAT) – a Community Hub at 12, Orchard Place, at the office of NS BME Network.

– The opening of the ‘Proud To Be’ Exhibition at the CHAT Room

– The launch of the ‘Black History Month Diversity Champion’ campaign for businesses and organisations to show their solidarity by championing diversity and inclusion.

With a free cultural events line up:

TUESDAY, 19 OCTOBER 2021 AT 19:30

From the Windrush to the Whitehouse – An Evening with Roger Griffith, MBE – Free

Weston Museum, Burlington St, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1PR

THURSDAY, 21 OCTOBER 2021 AT 19:30

TwoManTing – in concert- Free

Weston Museum, Burlington St, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1PR

FRIDAY 22 OCTOBER 2021 AT 19:30

A Musical Journey with Johnny Mars – Free

Weston Museum, Burlington St, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1PR

THURSDAY, 28 OCTOBER 2021 AT 19:30

Marvin Muoneké Jazz singer – FREE

The Vaults Bar, 1 South Parade, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1JP

Ian Noah, a Trustee of the NS BME Network, (who have recently converted their office premises into a Community Hub called ‘The CHAT Room’ to be used as a space for community projects), commented ‘When we began discussions, we had no idea how quickly things would develop. We were expecting a quiet start this year, in advance of working towards a much bigger celebration across North Somerset next year. We didn’t anticipate just how much support we would receive and it’s clear that there is a real desire to make this happen. We’re really grateful to the Town Council, the Museum and all who are getting involved.’

It is hoped that this is the start of something big for the area, with plans already afoot to expand to include the whole of North Somerset 2022.

The events have been funded by Weston Town Council and supported by Weston Museum and The Vaults Wine Bar. Other events can be found on the website https://blackhistorymonth-ns.org.uk.