Black History Month event at Chelsea Library

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Caged bird by Maya Angelou

Black History Month did not pass unnoticed at Chelsea Library. We were well prepared with a rich collection of books for children, teenagers and adults – and we had information displays throughout the library.

On Saturday 21 October, the library held a very successful Black History Month story and craft session. I invited Ade Akinbi, a teacher from a local primary school to be our special guest. As our events are free, and families can just come along – you never know how many will come, how old the children will be, and whether the planned activities will be appropriate for them. Therefore, I prepared for all possibilities – and hoped for the best!

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After my short introduction, Ade read ‘Caged bird’, Maya Angelou’s famous poem.

I then read Julia Donaldson’s ‘The ugly five’. This story is such a great fun and a fantastic introduction to our craft session – making animal masks. Tigers were absolutely the favourite choice, as you can see. Monkeys, lions, hippos, giraffes and cows (acting as wildebeests) could not compete with them.

After the first fifteen minutes of hubbub and excitement, everybody gradually got quiet and listened to songs from The Lion King in the background. (By the way – this is a guaranteed recipe for home-family-art-craft-workshop: talking book playing in the background and all sorts of craft materials on the kitchen table.)

The children and adults seemed content in designing, colouring and cutting, and I seized the moment for Ade to read another story – ‘When the rains come’ by Tom Pow and Malika Favre, set in a village in Malawi. We all enjoyed it, even learnt how to say “Hello, how are you?” “Moni. Muli bwanji.”

Six year old Christina made three masks – all tigers! Agynes (8), twins Phillip and Luke (7), Camilla (6) and Victoria (4) and many others, who had to leave earlier, spent a dynamic and creative afternoon with us.

Zvezdana, Chelsea Library

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Black History Month – writers

Our Biography Collection at Kensington Central Library display for October marks Black History Month with a showcase of writers from around the world. From literary giants like James Baldwin and Langston Hughes to unjustly neglected writers like Bessie Head, our display is a starting point from which to explore black voices.

Among many from the Americas we have: Zora Neale Hurston, who portrays the harsh realities of life in the Deep South in nevertheless rich poetic language; Ralph Ellison whose prose urges the reader to confront the painful truths of political struggle; Maya Angelou and Alice Walker whose appearance on the literary scene in the 1980s offered a view of black women’s lives written from the inside.

African writers like Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe and more recent British voices like those of Aminatta Forna, Colin Grant and Jackie Kay investigate cultural dislocations and rediscoveries of heritage across continents.

We have interspersed our biographies this month with the works of some of these writers and hope you will enjoy both.

We are inaugurating a new strand of our displays this month, which will link some of the books in our Biography Store Collection to current film and TV, and also commemorate those famous people who have recently died. So this month, as the film “Goodbye, Christopher Robin” comes out, we have books on A. A. and Christopher Milne, and on Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe who are portrayed in the film “Borg vs. McEnroe”. Sad news of the death of Liz Dawn prompted us to display her autobiography.

The Biography Store Team at Kensington Central Library

Kensington Central Library – October 2013

Kensington Central Library
Kensington Central Library

Hello to you all from the staff at Kensington Central Library!  Autumn seems to have started but don’t worry – we have plenty of events happening that’ll keep you out of the wind and rain…..

Events past and coming up

Scary masks!

Gruffalo crafts
Gruffalo crafts

On Saturday 21 September, some scary monsters appeared in Kensington Central Children’s Library, the scariest was the Gruffalo himself! Everyone gathered round for the story of a little mouse who plays a big trick on his fellow animals. Then we made masks to disguise ourselves as all the different animals. There were lots of animal noises to be heard for a while afterwards!

We are now holding a story and craft session every Saturday in the children’s library at 2pm, until 3pm. Come and join us, for more creative fun!

Gemma Baker
Gemma Baker

Gemma Baker

Senior Customer Services Assistant

Author events

We’re extremley to lucky to have some great authors speaking at Kensington Central LIbrary this month –

John McHugo talks about his latest book, Sophie Parkin explores bohemian Soho, and Lucinda Hawksley marches with the Suffragettes.

John McHugo will be appearing this evening Tuesday 15 October, 6.30 to 8pm, Sophie Parkin will be here on Thursday 17 October, 6.30 to 8pm and Lucinda Hawksley on Tuesday 29 October, 6.30 to 8pm. Tickets will be available on the door.

Full details of these events are on the library events page.

Social media help

Facebook and Twitter logos
Facebook and Twitter logos

Like to learn more about Facebook and Twitter? We’ve a free training session at Kensington Central Reference Library on Friday 25 October, 10am to 12 noon. Places are limited so book your place soon at the library.

Half term fun!

Half term in the Royal Borough is week commencing Monday 28 October and we’ve plenty of events to keep your kids of all ages busy.

HiRes Halloween
Halloween!

They’ll be a Halloween story and craft session on Wednesday 30 October, 2 to 3pm for four to ten year olds.

Persian tile
Persian tile

Also we two Persian themed workshops – Persian dance on Tuesday 29 October, 2 to 4pm for eight to fourteen year olds and Persian art on Thursday 31 October, 2 to 4pm for five to eleven year olds. Both these events are part of the Nour Festival of Arts and can be booked on www.nourfestival.eventbrite.co.uk

New displays

We’ve some new book displays this month that have been put together by our creative staff – pop in and take a look!

We’ve displays for:

  • Black History Month
  • Man Booker Prize
  • Graphic novels – a selection of our collection

Hope to see you at our events this month!

Jodie Green, Lending Librarian
Jodie Green

Jodie Green

Lending Librarian

Celebrate Black History Month at North Kensington library

North Kensington Library will be screening Pressure to help celebrate Black History Month

Still from the film Pressure
Still from the film Pressure, Black History Month

A pioneering first feature length film by a Black British director, Pressure (1975) tells the story of the coming of age of Tony, a bright young teenager caught between the aspirations of his parents and the realities of growing up in Notting Hill.

Horace Ove
Horace Ove

In this ground breaking film, directed by Horace Ové from a collaborative script with Trinidadian author Sam Selvon, Pressure uses a mixture of professionals and amateur actors to explores the dilemmas of being young, Black and British in mid 70s London.

The film will be followed by a discussion, led by Birkbeck history lecturer Mike Berlin.

Michael Berlin

This free event is part of Birkbeck’s Black History Month celebrations for more information please visit the BHM website. 

Scene from the film Pressure
Scene from the film Pressure

Details:

  • Thursday 25 October, 5.00pm
  • North Kensington Library
    108 Ladbroke Grove
    North Kensington, London
    W11 1PZ
Birbeck University web logo
Birbeck University web logo

Ticket information:

  • This is a free event and all are welcome.
  • Customers can book tickets on Eventbrite
  • Please note, we are not taking bookings in the library.

For more information please contact the organiser Kate Potts on 020 73803112