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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It's a Lockdown

Dawn Mills
It's a Lockdown
Go and wash your hands
And wash your feet
Now set your breath on fire, to this tune
And then repeat
See people crossing over
When they see you in the street
Don't even talk to me, or shake my hand,
attempt to greet
It's a Lockdown
Please be careful who you choke and who you stroke
The moneys running out
Now you're empty and you’re broke
There's a body over there
That you're not allowed to poke
All the medics out there
In their Superman cloak
It's a Lockdown
Keep on washing till you bleed
Is there anything you need?
Now there's lots of time to breed
I highly recommend your spouse
But first remember to delouse
Now please go and sow your seed
Its a Lockdown
Protect you from the virus in the air
Go home and wash your hair
Don't even stop and stare
Don't you walk, don't you talk
Don't you dare
Cos there's a dirty little killer out there
Its a Lockdown
We beg you please, just close your doors
And superglue ya jaws
Cos this shit gets in your pores
Keep running for your lives
And sanitise your bloody paws
Don't even entertain
And cancel Santa Claus
It's a Lockdown
Don't even hold my hand
Be careful where you stand
The bodies keep on dropping
Dig a hole where they land
Its a bloody massacre
Was this whole thing planned?
Its a Lockdown
Keep on looking for the proof
Keep on fighting nail and tooth
Keep on searching for the truth
Its a Lockdown
Don't go out, don't even shout
Does anybody care
If we even go without?
It's a Lockdown
Is Boris still pretending that he went and caught a dose?
Covid 19
Don't raise your glass or drink a toast
We will try to kill the killer
We will do our upper most

Dawn Paisley Mills is from Leeds, has lived in Liverpool for 20 years, and writes stories and poems. A graduate of Jacob Kramer College in Fashion and Illustration, her collection, No Offence, was published by Writing on the Wall. Dawn is inspired by her 5 children (5 to 19 years), and the world around her. 


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