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Black History Month

For Black History Month we created a programme that explored and celebrated Black history, heritage, and culture – both past and contemporary; local and global. The programme included commissioned stories, poems, and performances as well as suggested reading lists and links to online resources. Content has been shared below and on social media and you can find all the video content on our YouTube channel.

Fadeke Kokumo Rocks

For Black History Month we commissioned African/Asian/Scottish writer and poet Kokumo Rocks to record a performance for us. Kokumo was rasied in the Fife Mining Village of Cowdenbeath. Hers was the only black family in the area, and she left school with no qualifications. It wasn’t until she attended university in the mid-90s that she was diagnosed as a dyslexic. Kukomo currently has three books available through publishers Luath press Ltd. https://www.luath.co.uk/kokumo-rocks. This commission was made possible thanks to funding from Creative Scotland’s Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund.

Brown Linen

In the 18th century, handloom weavers in Fife made hundreds of thousands of yards of a type of coarse unbleached linen called osnaburg. Osnaburg was used to make clothing for slaves in British colonies in North America and the West Indies. Watch this video by Susan Birne from our Local Studies team as she explores Fife’s part in weaving linen that clothed slaves. Get in touch to find out more at LocalStudies.Kirkcaldy@onfife.com.

Konnection by Mike Delaitre

For Black History Month 2020 we commissioned Burntisland based singer/songwriter Mike Delaitre to record a performance for us. Mike is from the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, an island of sun, warmth and colour. with his roots in reggae, Mike’s music is a fusion of influences from mauritius and beyond. “The video is the story of my journey from the sun to the moon. A journey of life, love and the four seasons.” – Mike Delaitre. This commission was made possible thanks to funding from Creative Scotland’s Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund.

The Spence Project

As part of Black History Month, a group of students at the University of St Andrews researched links between Fife and unfree labour. they wanted to uncover some of the untold stories and have created a short film based on the story of David Spence, a slave who succesfully fought for his freedom. The students named their work ‘The Spence Project’ in his memory. To find out more email: spence@st-andrews.ac.uk.

Little People, Big Dreams – Rosa Parks

Here’s Ailsa with a wonderful book called Little People, Big Dreams which tells the story of the life of Rosa Parks.

Joseph Coelho – Rosa Parks

Here’s the wonderful Joseph Coelho with a poem celebrating the important women who fought for justice and equality that was recorded for our LibrarYAY Facebook group.