Events get underway to mark Black History month in Suffolk

Imani Sorhaindo (left) and Funmi Akinriboya at a workshop marking the start of Black History Month.

Imani Sorhaindo (left) and Funmi Akinriboya at a workshop marking the start of Black History Month. Picture: WILL JEFFORD - Credit: WILL JEFFORD

Black History Month has kicked off in Suffolk with a range of bold and vibrant events planned for the coming weeks.

The busy schedule planned for this year's Black History Month. Picture: SUFFOLK AFRICAN HISTORY COLL

The busy schedule planned for this year's Black History Month. Picture: SUFFOLK AFRICAN HISTORY COLLECTIVE - Credit: SUFFOLK AFRICAN HISTORY COLLECTIVE

Community members met for the first time at the Coop Education Centre, Fore Street, Ipswich, for an educational workshop to mark the start of October, the month set aside to remember the important people and events in black culture all over the world.

Suffolk African History Collective, which is behind the month, has planned a range of activities from a pub quiz aimed at families to Yorube and Swahili lessons for beginners.

It has also planned a talk from Dr Kheftusa Akhiba Ankh who will discuss male and female relationships in the black community at the University of Suffolk.

Imani Sorhaindo, who works for Realise Futures, a company which works to provide opportunities for adults that are at a disadvantage, ran the session.

She said: “I think it is important to recognise that black history is world history, it’s just that sometimes history lessons don’t necessarily tell black history and when it does, sometimes it’s based on a lot of stereotypes and misinformation.

“You’ll find that the media sometimes forgets to talk about the inventions and the great achievements of black people so we have to do that work to make sure it’s balanced so the community doesn’t feel misinformed really.”

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This year’s Black History Month is the biggest Suffolk has ever seen, with activities spilling over into November and even December.

The winter months see a free screening of the film Black Panther followed by lively discussion as well as a Jollof Rice Extravaganza in which people from East Africa battle it out to see who’s rice is the tastiest.

Funmi Akinriboya, who lives in Ipswich and runs a community support group, said: “I received an invite and found out that this class was about black history month which is essentially important especially being a black woman living in this community.

“I lived in London for over 10 years and then moved to Ipswich for three years and I think Ipswich is a good place to live.

“It’s got a multicultural background but there is always room for improvement especially in schools and in community activities for children making sure that the main services out there are accessible for our people as well. That’s the most important thing.”