In the steps of an Emperor

Guided tours of Fairfield House – where Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie spent five years in exile – are amongst events being organised throughout October to help Bath and North East Somerset mark – and celebrate – Black History Month.

BHM21 gives residents the opportunity to learn more about the contributions that black people have made nationally, internationally and to our local community, while promoting a more inclusive society.

Bath & North East Somerset Council is supporting the month with webinars, displays, events and social media campaigns.

One of the highlights will be a special webinar on Monday 18 October entitled ‘Race equality in B&NES – progress made and challenges ahead’. The webinar will be chaired by Councillor Dine Romerocabinet member for Children, Young People, Communities and Culture. Confirmed speakers include experts in black history from our local museums and tourist attractions and representatives from B&NES Race panel, B&NES Schools Race group and Boys in Mind. 

Councillor Romero said: “Education is key in tackling racism and promoting equality and I was hugely impressed by the contributions made by young people to our webinar last year which focussed on the Black Lives Matter movement. Black people within our community still face big challenges and I’m keen to listen to people’s experiences and their ideas on how we can continue to break down barriers and promote a more inclusive society.”

You can register for the webinar here.

Bath & North East Somerset Council is also a partner sponsor of the regional BHM conference taking place virtually on Saturday 11 October.  Speakers include historian David Olusoga, the BBC’s Director of Creative Diversity June Sarpong, Stephen Lawrence’s brother Stuart Lawrence and former footballer Anton Ferdinand.The conference is free, but please register here.

Other local BHM21 events include:

  • A month-long display of artefacts at the Pump Rooms relating to the last Emperor of Ethiopia, Emperor Haile Selassie, who spent five years in exile at Fairfield House in Bath.
  • Author Paul Mendez will discuss his acclaimed debut novel ‘Rainbow Milk’which explores race, class, sexuality, freedom and religion in a webinar on Thursday 28 October, organised by Bath University Library in conjunction with the council’s equalities and libraries teams.  
  • A display of artifacts in empty shop windows in Bath organised by Bath Ethnic Minority Senior Citizens Association (BEMSCA) in conjunction with Fairfield House.
  • A BHM21 social media campaign run by Bath & North East Somerset Libraries,  providing book recommendations for all ages highlighting Black Britons as well as daily Black History Month information.
  • Freedom in the City Festival is running a full programme of events in partnership with UWE.
  • Fairfield House will be running guided tours on Sundays in October.

You can find all the details by clicking on the council’s dedicated webpage here.

More information on BHM21 is available on the Black History Month website.

Visit B&NES Libraries’ TwitterFacebook and Instagram feeds to find your next great read.

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