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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On the One Hand, On the Other Hand

Jenny Barrett

On the One Hand
The Devil makes work for idle hands so let’s see your handiwork! Get your hands on needles, pins, seeds, secateurs, pots, pans and puns. Become a dab hand at making do with second-hand. Now I’ve got time on my hands I can no longer say that my hands are full. I have a pair of hands to offer a helping hand (as long as I’ve washed my hands). Clickbait shows a nation joining hands, raising hands to give a helping hand in case we find ourselves in their safe hands. We can’t hold hands or be close at hand but instead let’s give a big hand every Thursday night to those who, first-hand, are hands on.


On the Other Hand
I’ll hand it to them, those who have the upper hand have performed a sleight of hand, declaring themselves to have taken a firm hand. Let’s see a show of hands if you know it’s out of our hands. If we take matters into our own hands, unless it’s clapping hands, washing hands and helping hands, our hands will be tied. I may have time on my hands but I have nothing to hand. It’s all in someone else’s hands.
Jenny Barrett



Jenny Barrett won the Edge Hill University Student Prize for short story (MA Creative Writing, 2013) and has given public readings of stories at venues, including Tate Liverpool. She lives in Liverpool and is Reader in Film and Popular Culture at Edge Hill University.
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