Watch this event: Wednesday 8 December, 19:30 - 20:45
Join the British Library for an evening of readings, stories and conversation celebrating the life and work of the Jamaican poet, writer, broadcaster and activist, Andrew Salkey (1928–1995). Andrew Salkey was a co-founder of the Caribbean Artists Movement, a writer, a poet, and a teacher. He embodied the Black Radical Tradition in his writing, his politics, and in his support for other creative individuals.
This event reflects on the depth and breadth of Salkey’s work and his myriad of interests with contributions and reflections from his son Jason Salkey, the poet Linton Kwesi Johnson and the writer, Gwen Strauss, who both regarded Salkey as a friend and mentor. The poet, Raymond Antrobus, talks about Salkey’s poetry and how it influenced his own work and Eric Huntley, an early publisher of Salkey’s works, looks back at their friendship.
We are working with Libraries Connected to stream the Grand Finale of the Novels that Shaped Our World project. We are delighted to bring this day-long event to all library staff who have contributed to the project and celebrate the amazing contributions you have made to make the project a success.
Libraries Connected are delighted to invite you to a day of celebration of libraries and books, reflecting on an extraordinary 18 months where reading has been a lifeline to many and showcasing the BBC Novels That Shaped Our World Libraries Programme.
In the morning we’ll be hosting a reading round table with speakers including Monique Roffey; Arts Council England; The Reading Agency; and RNIB, exploring the role of reading during Covid-19 and personal reflections on how to connect more people to the power of reading.
The second session will be a joyous and moving showcase by libraries of some of the many reading and cultural projects inspired by the Novels that Shaped Our World.
11.30am - 1pm: Reading Round Table
1pm - 2pm: BREAK
2pm - 4pm: Celebratory showcase of libraries' work
Watch again now.
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>
Watch again now.
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.
Join us here live: Monday 22 November, 19:00 - 20:30.
Join Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum an award-winning educational leader, a noted expert on the psychology of racism and best-selling author of Why Are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? for a transatlantic conversation about race.
Dr. Tatum will be joined on stage by leading UCL Academics and others to discuss and debate the issue of race and racism, why it persists, how we address it through education and how we can talk about it.
The event will be streamed live from the Bloomsbury Theatre at UCL and will include a keynote from Dr. Tatum and an armchair discussion followed by an audience Q&A.
Writers Ben Okri, David Hare and Samira Ahmed consider walls in literature and in our lives; physical, political, societal and spiritual. This event was livestreamed from the British Library on 23 September 2019 to public libraries across the UK as part of Banned Books Week, the celebration of the freedom to read. This event took place in partnership with the British Library, The Royal Society of Literature, English PEN, Free Word, Hachette UK, Index on Censorship, Islington Council’s Library and Heritage Service, Libraries Connected, Media Diversified and The Publisher’s Association.