Black History Month @ WoW

The global Black Lives Matter protests that characterised our summer were truly inspirational. Black communities and anti-racists across the globe are demanding change. Writing on the Wall are proud to present our programme for Black History month featuring some of the most inspirational local, national and international black artists, creatives and activists, featuring Man Booker Prize winner, Jamaican writer Marlon James and Berkeley Professor Stephen Small; Afrofuturist author and filmmaker Ytasha Womack returns from Chicago to take up residency on the Writing Bloc, and We are also delighted to welcome George DomanToni HickmanKeith Jones and Leroy Moore, US Krip Hop activists and stars of the Netflix documentary Phoenix Rising.


Throwing themselves into the debate around the Decolonization of Curriculums, are Dr Leona Vaughnwhile the 1919 Walking Tours, Mandela 8, the L8 Archive and The Windrush Music projects reveal hidden histories. Sophie Williams will be discussing her new book, How To Be An Anti-Racist Ally, and we see the return of the multi-talented Black Girl Lit Club. Arena Films dig into their archive to present Linton Kwesi Johnson’s A Caribbean Journey, with contemporary discussions and poetic responses from Karen McCarthy-WoolfAshleigh NugentLevi Tafari,  Olive SeniorColin GrantDanielle Boodoo-Fortuné and Vladimir Lucien.


Bringing the struggle home, Kim Johnson MP, Liverpool’s first black MP, and Tracey Gore, the newly appointed chair of the city’s Race Task force, will consider how we level the playing field in Liverpool, while films from WoW’s Time to Breathe writing project portray just how pressing that it is.  Throw children’s Story Time into the mix and there’s something for everyone. We look forward to seeing you throughout October.


As the President of the ‘free world’ dog whistles to white supremacists and in the UK  black people are increasingly targeted by police and far right thugs line our shores to beat back those fleeing war and famine, the most pressing questions now for the Black Lives Matter movement and anti-racists everywhere is ‘What’s Next?’  Throughout  WoW’s Black History Month we will explore this question, and invite you to celebrate great writing and performance and engage in discussion and debate on these vital issues.
 


 

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WoW has played a critical role as one of the longest running writing and literary organisations in the country, in bringing the best of culture from across the country and internationally to audiences throughout the Liverpool City Region. 

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We Play a History of Hiding Aunties, Hiding Uncles

Jason Magabo Perez  
We believe the world to be temporary. We are always nervous about being and suicide. We believe in aftermath of disaster: from leaf light to heavy, a burnt place where we are less ourselves and somewhat in love. We have heard rumors about this city—the awe, the result, time and smoke waking the public, heavy with liquor, the alluded dead there searching the lynched. Today, the plastic: wakes by the river—where daughters and sons drowned, this script of rumors about this city. We hold secrets of cousins and know aunties, the impossible other: of tilapia and tamarind, hair under water, recently shot homie in transit, on a curb, in velvet, freezing, homie’s home now benches. Allegedly, we are the ones who have crucified this sun, this water, and the neighborhood now smells eaten because of locusts, and Lola finds poems and prophesy about residents, migrants brutalized. Call aunties, call uncles, for apartments! Call aunties, call uncles, for green cards! Call aunties, call uncles, for families! This morning, stabbed in robbery, a story to believe in purple, aunties and uncles here: communion of collected night smoke—always the mist, popular, an opening, a bite down. We play a history of hiding aunties, hiding uncles, sleepless, our refused cousins, the refuse under the deepness of this city.



Jason Magabo Perez is Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at California State University San Marcos He is author of This is for the mostless (WordTech Editions 2017), the current Artist-in-Residence at Center for Art and Thought and inaugural Community Arts Fellow at Bulosan Center. 
 
 
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