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Black History Month - Rich Mix

Event preview

RICH MIX is celebrating Black History Month with three guest speakers – Colin Prescod, Kwame Kwei-Armah and Gary Younge.

IN CONVERSATION WITH KWAME KWEI-ARMAH – Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 7.30pm (Screen 3).

Kwame Kwei-Armah became the first black Briton to have a play staged in the West End. An acclaimed writer, actor, broadcaster and singer, he will discuss how The Brother from Another Planet, John Sayles’ unique film, inspired him and a whole generation of writers and directors. The film will also be screened.

The Brother from Another Planet (15)
Director: John Sayles.
Cast: Joe Morton, Rosanna Carter, Ray Ramirez and Yves Rene.

The Brother is an alien who has crash-landed on Earth, in New York City. While mute, strongly empathic, and able to fix things, he resembles a Black man with strange feet. His attempt to make a place for himself in Harlem is an allegory for the immigrant experience in the United States. Meanwhile, two bounty hunters from the Brother’s home planet arrive and try to capture him.

Tickets: £5.

FILM AND Q&A WITH COLIN PRESCOD: Struggles for Black Community – Saturday, October 24, 2009 at 4pm (Screen 2).

Colin Prescod, Chair of the Institute of Race Relations presents two seminal documentaries that focus on an aspect of contemporary black history:

A Town Under Siege (NC)
Director: Colin Prescod/2008/UK/38 minutes

Focusing on Southall from 1976-1981, this insightful documentary charts the area’s resistance to racist and fascist attacks. Initiated by the community organisations of the 1950s, these groups combated racism in the workplace and discrimination in the community.

Set against the rise of state racism with severe controls on immigration and police harassment, we witness how a community fashioned and forged new weapons to cope with the struggle. Indeed it was during one of these clashes that teacher and anti-racist, Blair Peach was killed in 1979, sparking one of the London’s most infamous riots.

From You Were Black, You Were Out
Director: Colin Prescod/2008/UK/38 minutes

Set in Notting Hill in the 1950s, we follow the ‘founders’ of the Ladbroke Grove community as they describe their experience of life at that time. With decaying housing, slum landlords and brutal racism, the local community were forced to defend themselves; something that developed into a more general community resistance.

From the emergence of local ‘Black Power’ groups to the arrival of the area’s carnival, the film is a fitting testament to the tenacity and strength of a community.

The films are followed by a Q&A led by Colin Prescod on issues raised.

Tickets: £8, £6 concessions.

IN CONVERSATION WITH GARY YOUNGE – Thursday, November 12 at 7.30pm (Screen 3).

Based in the United States, Gary Younge is a Guardian columnist and feature writer who has published various works on race politics in America. He will talk about his forthcoming projects and race politics in America, in the light of Obama’s election.

Tickets – £5.