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Borough of Poole marks Black History Month

A series of events are taking place across Poole this October to mark Black History Month, a national event which is now in its 28th year. 

Students from Poole High School will be working alongside staff from Poole Museum on a new project funded by Poole and Bournemouth’s Cultural Hub, encouraging young people to explore Black history through guided research in Poole History Centre. Called ‘Forgotten Voices’, the project will see Year 9 pupils learning about the history of trade and slavery linked to Poole and the surrounding area, and finding out about the unsung heroes of abolition, including James Stephen, the principal English lawyer associated with the abolitionist movement who was born in Poole in 1758. 

Students will also take part in an interactive drama workshop at Scaplen’s Court to explore what they have learned, and use this work to lead into creative writing. Working with local historian and writer Louisa Adjoa Parker, author of ‘Dorset’s Hidden Histories’, pupils can reinterpret and express what they have been learning with a view to sharing with others. Their completed poems will be shared with fellow pupils in a special assembly, as well as displayed in Poole History Centre and on Poole Museum’s website. 

Poole libraries have compiled a dedicated reading list featuring literature by Black authors, including works by Maya Angelou, Andrea Levy and Zadie Smith. All libraries will feature displays of books by staff’s favourite Black authors throughout the month, and Hamworthy Library will also play host to African drumming performances on Monday 27 October. 

Cllr Karen Rampton, cabinet portfolio holder for Equalities, Borough of Poole, said: “Black History Month helps us to celebrate the contributions that Black and minority ethnic people have brought to our community. The activities planned in Poole are set to give a fascinating insight into how our area has been influenced by other cultures and traditions.” 

Borough of Poole is also supporting the making of a film documenting stories from the Black and minority ethnic community in Dorset about their experiences in the county. The finished film, titled 'All Different, All Dorset' will be screened at a special event taking place at Bournemouth University on 29 October. Further details about the project can be found on the project blog or on blurb.co.uk.

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