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Celebrating Black History Month (Belatedly)

Words by Nya Furber


October saw Black History Month celebrated across the UK, and this year the Sussex SU welcomed international Reggae artist Scratchylus to perform. The night was fabulous, and I had a great time dancing to Scratchylus and drinking the SU's limited edition Rum Punch cocktail. Scratchylus is a self-described 'lyrical activist,' which is evident in his music. He often performs at universities, because they are an environment of learning and openness; as someone pointed out at the end, universities offer a space where decolonising the mind can actively happen - even by listening to him perform at the SU! At the end of the night, we all sat and discussed with each other. What was particularly pertinent to me was Scratchylus talking about his education: he found school uninspiring, so after classes he and his friends would meet up to listen to vinyl (hence his nickname - scratch? get it?). It made me think about the power of music, literature and art for people of colour, providing us a space of understanding we might not otherwise find. And it was on that note after hearing Scratchylus perform that I wanted to put together a recommendation list of art born from the black community that you should check out below ...


Writing:

At The Bottom of The River, Jamacia Kincaid. (Anything by Jamacia Kincaid is amazing)

Cannibal, Safiya Sinclair.

In Search of Our Mother's Gardens, Alice Walker. Very short essay you can access for free online!


Films and directors

Do The Right Thing, Spike Lee

Melvin Van Peebles

Jordan Peele


Music:


Baby Please Don't Go, Rose Mitchell

Bobby Sox Idol, Wilmouth Houdini

It's Your Voodoo Working, Charles Sheffield

Cajun Moon, J.J. Cale


Local to Brighton :


@erinjames__ on Instagram. Erin's an amazing spoken word artist, 2023 Stuart Hall Fellow, and founder of tough cookie mag.

Afrori Books: A volunteer run bookshop near Brighton station dedicated to black writers, often running events.

BARCO (@barcobrighton on Instagram): An anti-racist community organisation that celebrates black culture. Often runs networking events, as well as other opportunities to connect with black people in Brighton via food, music and poetry!


You can listen to Scratchylus' music on spotify, and you can check out future SU events on their Instagram.


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