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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Silent Spring

John F Hall

Listen to the birds sing
See the new buds grow
Cherry blossoms on the trees
Pastel green shades in the hedgerow
Streets are quiet and empty of humankind
Shops in town are closed, city lockdown 
for the Silent Spring........
Time goes by quicker as we grow older
Not going anywhere - it's Groundhog Day
On self-isolation street I'm home alone
In the roaring silence; no traffic, train, and aircraft noise
Depopulation virus control weaponised?
The NHS mantra is ‘Stay at Home’ 
In the science of Big Pharma
There's always a profit to be made
in the Silent Spring.
Blackbirds, blue tit,s sing from the gardens
Starlings raise chicks in the eaves of the roof
Robins, goldfinch, sparrows chatter loudly
in the Silent Spring...

‘Silent Spring’ is dedicated to my partner Elaine who died of the Covid-19 Virus on April 9th 2020, in Ward 6X, Royal University Hospital, Liverpool

John F. Hall began writing lyrics, poetry, and short stories, at Writing on the Wall, Toxteth Library. He is working on Wheelchair Walks: A Diary on caring for his now-deceased partner, Elaine. He performs at venues around the North-West, as Herringbone John and the Kipper Doctors.


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