City of Wolverhampton Council is celebrating Black History Month (October) with a collection of art, history and educational events that give people the opportunity to explore and learn more about it and the influential people that have helped shaped history.

To mark the start of it a number of Wolverhampton Libraries will be promoting novels written by Black writers and books on Black history and culture, with information on display for visitors to see for free. 
Wolverhampton Art Gallery will be hosting a major exhibition of work by leading contemporary British artist Keith Piper (b. 1960). ‘Keith Piper: Body Politics. Work from 1982 to 2007’ touches on issues surrounding race, identity and politics prevalent in Piper’s work. The exhibition presents pieces from 1980s to 2000s, demonstrating the shift in his practice from painting, print and collage towards an increasing use of mixed media and installation. 

The exhibition opens on Thursday 10 October. Admission is free and can be seen during gallery opening hours of Mondays to Saturdays (10.30am to 4.30pm) and Sundays (11am to 4pm).

Keith Piper was a member of the BLK Art Movement formed in Wolverhampton in 1979. The members of this group displayed their work at Wolverhampton Art Gallery in the 1981 exhibition Black Art an’ Done. These works questioned Britain’s social, political and cultural legacies by appropriating, critiquing and reinventing past art. This exhibition contributes to the gallery’s commitment to presenting a comprehensive view of the emergence of Black Art from the 1980s to the present day.

Finally, on Saturday 2 November from 10am until 4pm, the City Archives will be hosting their annual Local History Fair, organised by Juliet Whitter, and will focus on the unique and informative display of items associated with the ‘Jamaican Front Room’ during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor Harman Banger, said: “Black history month is an opportunity for people to learn about a different culture and people that have made a change in history. 

“We have a number of events taking place and I urge everyone to get involved and support Black history month and all those who have organised the events across the city.”

The official launch of Black history month will take place on Saturday 5 October at the Heritage Centre, Clifford Street, Wolverhampton, WV6 OAA, from 6pm. The event is free and open to all.

For more information on Black History Month and events happening near you view the Black History Month Brochure 2019.