Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is a classic example of defied convention. It presented a new voice, fully convinced of her defiance and standing up against adult tyranny. Acclaimed author Sara Collins, producer of the 2011 film adaptation Alison Owen, Victorian Literature expert Professor Sally Shuttleworth and critic Alex Clark discuss the spirit of rebellion found in its pages and what it is to be a child. This event was livestreamed from the British Library on 14 January 2020 to public libraries across the UK. This event contains discussion of sexual harassment within the novel so parental discretion is advised.
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This event took place on: 24 November 2020.
Gloria Steinem has been called the ‘world’s most famous feminist’. As a young New York journalist, her investigations of contraception, abortion and the Playboy Club made her name amid the changing society of the 1960’s and she has has travelled the world ever since to support the voices and lives of women. At this special event she talks to Zeinab Badawi about her life and activism about families, relationships, ageing, work, laughter, politics and revolution.
This event celebrates Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women's Rights, a UK-wide exhibition by the British Library and public libraries.
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This event took place on: 6 November 2020. 19.30.
Each year ‘Five Faces’ are chosen to represent the theme of LGBT+ History Month. To mark the 2021 launch, join us for an evening celebrating the lives of the five selected icons: Maya Angelou, Mark Ashton, Michael Dillion, Lily Parr and Mark Weston.
Museum expert Dan Vo is in conversation with representatives from cultural organisations across the country on the theme for 2021 – Body, Mind and Spirit – and explores how these individuals embody the concept.
Maya Angelou was a renowned poet and internationally recognised civil rights activist, her works were often taught in schools in Britain. Story presented by Haringey Vanguard Projects and freelance historian and writer Kamara Dyer Simms who has been published by Gal-Dem.
Mark Ashton has been immortalised by the award-winning 2014 film Pride. Mark was a community activist and founded Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners in 1984. Story presented by LGSM and Mike Jackson, Co-Founder and Secretary of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners.
Michael Dillon dubbed Bristol’s most famous trans resident. Dillon was a British physician and the first Western European to be ordained a Buddhist monk. Story presented by Bristol M Shed and author Cheryl Morgan, Co-Chair of OutStories Bristol.
Lily Parr was an English professional women’s association football player and is the only woman to be an inductee in the English Football Hall of Fame at the National Football Museum. Her story is presented by the National Football Museum and Lou Englefeld, Director of Pride Sports UK.
Mark Weston known as the Devonshire Wonder, was one of the best field athletes in the 1920s and represented Britain in the international arena, including the Olympic Games. Story presented by University of Plymouth and Alan Butler, Co-Director of Pride in Plymouth.
LGBT+ History Month is an initiative by Schools OUT UK that focuses on the celebration and recognition of LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, plus) people and culture, past and present; increasing the visibility of diverse LGBT+ histories, lives and their experiences. It has been celebrated every year in the UK since 2005.
Former Children’s Laureate, Malorie Blackman, reflected on her writing career and how her work has been adapted into graphic fiction, plays and TV series, ahead of the release of the 2020 TV adaptation of her award-winning YA series 'Noughts and Crosses'. She was joined by 'Noughts and Crosses' scriptwriter Nathaniel Price and journalist Nicolette Jones. This event was programmed to coincide with the British Library's exhibition on rebels in children’s literature, in partnership with The Royal Society of Literature.
This event will be available to watch again soon.
The British Library and Faber Social present a celebration of Bessie Smith, pioneering blues singer and one of the biggest stars of the 1920s and 30s.
As a young black girl growing up in Glasgow, writer and poet Jackie Kay found in Bessie someone with whom she could identify and who she could idolise. Kay talks to award winning novelist Bernardine Evaristo about her new book on Bessie's life, which mixes enthralling biography with fiction, poetry and prose.
Plus a selection of Bessie Smith’s songs performed by special guest singer Nona Hendryx, most famously of the group Labelle.
Bessie’s life was as tempestuous as it was extraordinary. Born in Tennessee in 1894 and orphaned by the age of nine, Smith sang on street corners before becoming a big name in travelling shows alongside the likes of Ma Rainey. In 1923 she made her first recording for a new start-up called Columbia Records. It sold 780,000 copies.
Smith’s life was notoriously difficult: she drank pints of ‘bathtub gin’, got into violent fist fights, spent huge sums of money and had passionate love affairs with men and women. She once single-handedly fought off a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.
Her gorgeous and powerful voice, unapologetic songs and bold personality have been an inspiration to many ever since.
<b>Purchase your copy of Jackie Kay's <i>Bessie Smith</i> <a href="https://pagesofhackney.co.uk/webshop/product/bessie-smith-jackie-kay/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a></b>
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A celebration of one of the most important British poets of the last fifty years, by contemporary poets and artists.
Simon Barraclough, Dzifa Benson, Nancy Campbell, João Concha, Kirsten Irving, Ricardo Marques, Peter McCarey and Richard Price read Morgan's poems and each responds with a work of their own.
Taking its name from one of his collections, this evening is a 'divan' in the Persian sense of a gathering of people sitting on a virtual sofa sharing their poems and news, not unlike the concept of the 'ceilidh' in Scotland, where Morgan grew up and lived.
Join us on the poetry couch for an unrivalled insight into this remarkable poet and a glimpse of the wealth of contemporary poetry which has grown up in a creative landscape partly created by him.
With thanks to:
<a href="https://edwinmorgantrust.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">The Edwin Morgan Trust</a>
<a href="https://poetryarchive.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">The Poetry Archive</a>
<a href="https://www.carcanet.co.uk/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Carcanet Press</a>
Click <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OE6li9RuDTNwNiSsD-YZ-H6utNQRxSGD/view?usp=sharing" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a> to read the poem’s featured in this event.