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Black History Month
Black History Month

Press release -

Northumbria academic celebrates Black History Month

In honour of Black History Month this October, Professor Brian Ward from Northumbria University, Newcastle, is giving a talk celebrating iconic African Americans who have visited the North East.

Beyond Jimi, Martin and Muhammad: celebrating two hundred years of African Americans on Tyneside will be held at Whitley Bay Library at 2:30pm on Monday 18 October. The event is open to members of the public.

Explaining the talk Professor Ward said: “Between 1967 and 1977, three of the most iconic figures in modern African American history – Jimi Hendrix, Martin Luther King, Jr, and Muhammad Ali – found themselves on Tyneside.

“I will unpick the stories behind those visits to put them in the context of two centuries of connections between Tyneside and the African American freedom struggle and a fascinating, if often unappreciated, history of racial diversity in the region.”

During October Professor Ward will also be working with the North Shields Heritology Project (https://heritologists.com/) on its “Celebrating Black History in North Shields” strand. This will include a visit to Waterville Primary School, where he will be interviewed by some of the children about the area’s history of anti-slavery activism.

Brian Ward is Professor in American Studies at Northumbria University and former Chair of the British Association for American Studies. His ten books include the multi-award winning Just My Soul Responding: Rhythm and Blues, Black Consciousness, and Race Relations(1998) and A&R Pioneers: Architects of American Roots Music on Record(2018).

Professor Ward is also author of Martin Luther King in Newcastle upon Tyne: The African American Freedom Struggle and Race Relations in the North East of England (2017), praised in North East History as ‘The most detailed historical account of race relations in the North East yet written.’

This event can be booked online via Eventbrite or for further information call (0191) 643 5390

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Northumbria University, Newcastle, is a research-rich, business-focussed, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence

Northumbria University, Newcastle