Throughout October, Monmouthshire County Council celebrated Black History Month.
Across the county, the council celebrated the contributions black people have made in shaping the history of the county and the country.
At Monmouth and Caldicot libraries, visitors saw many fantastic books available for adults and young children to mark Black History Month. MonLife Heritage Museums visited several events to showcase the work they are doing to contribute to the anti-racist Wales action plan via their collection and displays. The work includes adding photographs and context to objects in the collections to better understand them and show their links to the empire, colonialism, or the transatlantic slave trade. As part of the work, officers have installed small gallery interventions at Abergavenny and Chepstow Museums to further explore some objects on display. They have also conducted a language audit of our catalogue and website that features a signpost forewarning users of entries that may be considered harmful or discriminatory.
You can find the collection on the MonLife Heritage Museums website here: https://www.monlifecollections.co.uk/projects/decolonisation-british-empire-monlife/.
To close the month, County Hall, Usk, was filled with culture, music and fantastic food as we celebrated Black History Month. Throughout the afternoon of celebration, Monmouthshire County Council welcomed residents, councillors, and colleagues to learn and celebrate. The attendees were treated to a live drumming exhibition, singing and a fashion show. Along with the entertainment, visitors were given inspirational speeches from Professor Uzo Iwobi CBE, Roy Grant, Vernesta Cyril OBE, Junior Timothy Bowen and two pupils from Usk Church in Wales Primary School - Robin Bath and Trevor Harry. The uplifting, inspiring and thought-provoking speeches made a lasting impact on all in attendance.
Monmouthshire County Council Leader, Cllr Mary Ann Brocklesby, said: “My big takeaway from Black History Month is that it is all our histories. It’s not just for one month; it’s for the entire year. The speakers in our Black History Month event in County Hall have had a lasting impact on all who attended. Their stories have inspired us to ensure we continue the work to celebrate and reflect on our history. I was delighted to open our doors to welcome people across Monmouthshire and across our borders to celebrate Black History Month with us.”