October is Black History Month, and cultural historian Patrick Vernon OBE is hosting 2 events in Wolverhampton next weekend to celebrate the contribution the African Caribbean community has made to Britain.

The Wolverhampton born writer, historian, political activist and founder of 100 Great Black Britons will give a talk on the "Windrush generation" who settled in Wolverhampton from the 1940s onwards before presenting a film about the life of Jamaican pilot Eddie Martin Noble, who served with the RAF in the Second World War.

In "From Windrush to Grime: The Rise of the Black Community in Wolverhampton", Patrick talks about the contribution that people who came from the Caribbean as part of the Windrush generation made on the economic, cultural and political life of Wolverhampton, Bilston and the surrounding area.

He will reveal the legacy created by the Caribbean, and in particular Jamaican, community in the city, as well as discussing important milestones in its development, and the lasting contribution it has made on the character of the area.

Then, Patrick will present A Charmed Life, a documentary co-directed with Ros Gihan Williams which profiles the life and times of Eddie Martin Noble, the Jamaican airman whose life had a major impact on Andrea Levy's classic, Small Island.

Featuring archive film footage and interviews with Mr Williams, A Charmed Life examines issues around colonisation of the Caribbean, racism in the RAF during the Second World War and racial inequality in post war Britain.

Patrick said: "It is a great honour to contribute to Black History Month events in Wolverhampton, a city that my parents and many others came from the Caribbean in the 1950s to make a home and contribute to the local economy.

"The Caribbean community has made significant contributions to the Midlands during the Second World War and over the last 60 years which often get overlooked in local history and the regional media. I hope Black History Months like these events will kickstart more work on local history and a permanent legacy for the Windrush generation."

From Windrush to Grime: The Rise of the Black Community in Wolverhampton takes place at Wolverhampton Art Gallery on Saturday 10 October from 2pm to 3pm, with A Charmed Life following at Light House Media Centre the same afternoon at 4pm.

Tickets for the talk are free, while for the film presentation they cost £7.90 for adults, £5.70 concessions and £4.50 for students/under 25s. Please book early to avoid disappointment by calling Wolverhampton Art Gallery on 01902 552055 for Windrush to Grime and Light House on 01902 716 055 for A Charmed Life.

For more information about Black History Month, please visit Type=links;Linkid=6604;Title=Black History Month;Target=_blank; or Type=links;Linkid=5929;Title=WIN - Wolverhampton Information Network;Target=_blank;.

  • released: Thursday 1 October, 2015