Black History Month in Buckinghamshire Libraries

Published
30.09.2020
news

October is Black History Month, an annual commemoration of the history, achievements and contributions of black people in the UK. 

Buckinghamshire Libraries have worked with local organisation SV2G to bring you an opportunity to view a fascinating exhibition. We also have some great book lists for you to browse and enjoy as well as a book review by SV2G member Beth Gallagher.

See a fascinating exhibition by SV2G

High Wycombe based organisation SV2G have put together a fascinating exhibition that will feature in libraries throughout the month of October.

The exhibition is the result of three project the organisation has focused on recently, including:

The Story of George Alexander
‘The Story of George Alexander', reveals the tragic life of George Alexander Gratton, a child born into slavery from St. Vincent and the Grenadines and transported to Britain. High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire has the largest population of Vincentians in the UK. This project explored Marlow’s connections with the community in the Wycombe district. George’s grave was barely recognisable to the general public and has been restored as part of this project to preserve Vincentian heritage in the UK. Significantly, the grave is one of, if not the earliest, pieces of evidence of Vincentian presence in Britain.

Showing at High Wycombe and Chesham libraries.
  
A Steelpan Town  
A Steelpan Town Project explored the rich diverse history of steelpan music, the musicians and the instrument itself in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. The project captured the main steel bands that were formed in High Wycombe.  Many steelpan musicians from St. Vincent & the Grenadines settled into High Wycombe from the late 1950’s. The New Sound Crusaders Steel band which became famous when in 1971 they won the national TV programme ‘Opportunity Knocks’ for six consecutive weeks.  A modern-day equivalent programme of Opportunity Knocks would be Britain’s Got Talent.

Showing at High Wycombe, Buckingham and Aylesbury libraries.
  
Coming Back Home
An intergenerational project that documented the testimonies of Vincentian’s personal experiences and stories with three generation’s in High Wycombe. The project explored their experiences and memories from migration and settlement through to identity and everyday life.  Also, with British Born Vincentian’s caught between two cultures, were also documented with their journey and experiences.

Showing at Aylesbury and Burnham libraries.

All exhibitions will be available from Friday 9 October. 

Booklists

Celebrate Black History Month with this list of popular BAME authors – view booklist

Booklists from SV2G including:

Young, Gifted and Black – books for primary school age

  • Little leaders. Bold women in Black history by Vashi Harrison Paperback | eBook
  • Little leaders. Exceptional men in Black history by Vashi Harrison PaperbackeBook
  • The story of the windrush by K. N. Chimbiri Paperback
  • Coming to England by Floella Benjamin Paperback
  • Young, Gifted and Black by Jamia Wilson Paperback | eBook
  • Superhero Gran by Timothy Knapman Paperback

Young Adult fiction – books for secondary school age

Black & British

  • Natives by Akala
  • The life and rhyme of Benjamin Zephaniah by Benjamin Zephaniah
  • Homecoming by Colin Grant
  • Slay in your lane by Yomi Adegoke & Elizabeth Uviebinene
  • "I will not be erased" by gal-dem
  • Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
  • Why I'm no longer talking to white people about race by Reni Eddo-Ledge
  • Good immigrant by Nikesh Shukla

Book review by SV2G - Cassie P, Caribbean PI by Cecil Browne

Cecil Browne was born in St Vincent and the Grenadines and came to England in 1970 to join his parents. A passionate Caribbean man with a love for cricket, soca, reggae, in fact all things West Indian, Cecil is also knowledgeable on Caribbean culture and history which comes across in his mystery novel “Cassie P, Caribbean Pi.”

Review

The first book in what I hope will be a series features “Private Investigator” Cassie P’s first six cases since leaving the police force. From the theft of a cutlery set by two warring sisters to the murder of a businessman after a dance, Cecil’s characters leap off the page and draw the reader in to their charm and warmth. No more so than the lead Cassie P whose tenacity and humour has you rooting for her to get to the bottom of the various mysteries.

The evocative nature of Cecil’s writing transported me to St Vincent and the Grenadines which was a much-needed escape over lockdown in the UK. Cecil’s affection for the island shines through and you can’t help but wonder if some of the characters are based on real life citizens of SVG. The thrilling suspense and colourful narrative throughout make’s this book a real page turner and an absolute pleasure to read.

I can’t wait to follow Cassie through the next cases in her newfound career and transport myself back to those beautiful islands.

Beth Gallagher, Trustee, SV2G

Read the book


SV2G (St. Vincent & the 2nd Generation) was established in 2003 as an Arts and Heritage organisation. As a registered Charity, the organisation has a range of innovative diversionary arts projects that empower and develop young people and raise awareness of Caribbean heritage and culture.

More about SV2G at: sv2g.org.uk

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