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Black History Month at National Museums Liverpool

National Museums Liverpool has announced a number of not-to-be-missed events taking place across its museums and galleries to mark Black History Month.

Highlights from the events programme, which runs throughout October, include thought-provoking displays, topical talks and discussions, a series of film screenings and author-led storytelling for children.

Schools can also take part, with two new virtual classrooms exploring the legacies of transatlantic slavery, funded by the Liverpool Combined Authority City Region. Launching on 4 October, they are designed for Key Stages 2 and 3. The workshops, which can be booked online, enable students to discover the connections between transatlantic slavery and contemporary issues and campaigns.

Laura Pye, Director of National Museums Liverpool, said:

“We’re looking forward to celebrating Black History Month with a varied and engaging events programme, which visitors can get involved with both across our venues and online.

“This year, we’re working closely with Community Producer Cherise Weaver, to facilitate stimulating conversations with Liverpool’s diverse communities. Cherise will be collaborating with artists to help us to showcase some exciting creative events and activities.”

Events to look out for include:

Santerre painting on display
1 October
Lady Lever Art Gallery

The Lady Lever Art Gallery is placing a painting featuring an enslaved African person at the front and centre of its displays. The oil painting of Catherine-Marie Legendre, painted about 1705 and attributed to Jean Baptiste Santerre (1658-1717), is the only item from the gallery’s 18th century collection to depict a person of colour

Inspirational Black scousers
5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 October, 11am and 2pm
Museum of Liverpool

An opportunity to join the Museum’s Learning & Participation Team as they talk through the fascinating stories of some of the many inspirational Black British people connected to Liverpool.

‘Brown Babies’ of the Second World War: the children born to Black GIs and white British women
9 October, 1-3pm
Museum of Liverpool

A talk by author Lucy Bland, drawing on research from her book Britain’s ‘Brown Babies’: The stories of children born to Black GIs and white women in the Second World War. The talk will focus on the children born to Black GIs and local women in Liverpool and Merseyside, during the Second World War.

Benin display at World Museum: Film screening, panel discussion and Q&A
9 October, 2-4pm
World Museum

A film screening and panel discussion with members of Liverpool’s African diasporic community. Panel members will reflect on a series of workshops they attended at the Museum. The workshops – recorded in the winter of 2019/20 – were designed to help the Museum rethink the display of its Benin collection, and address historical legacies of injustice to create a more inclusive and engaging display.

Craft at the Museum – Joseph Johnson’s hat
9 and 10 October, 11am-12noon, 1-4pm
Merseyside Maritime Museum

Joseph Johnson was a Black sailor who lived 200 years ago. Younger visitors are invited to get creative and try their hand at making a replica of his hat.

Yore Lens on L8
16 October, 2pm
Museum of Liverpool

A special screening of a series of short films and documentaries by Akoma Arts that celebrate decades of creativity, art, and history in the Liverpool 8 community.

Storytelling with Patrick Graham
16 and 17 October, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm
Museum of Liverpool

Author Patrick Graham reads excerpts from his children’s book, Three Little Jamaicans.

Close up on slavery, abolition and activism
17 and 24 October, 11am-12noon, 1.30-3.30pm
International Slavery Museum

Visitors are invited to get hands-on with some important objects by joining the Learning & Participation Team as they present the International Slavery Museum’s handling collection, including artefacts that are carriers of history and inspiring examples of resilience and activism.

Uprisings 1981: A Commemoration
24 October, 1-5pm
Museum of Liverpool

Join us for an afternoon of discussion and performance to reflect on the events of 1981 in this 40th anniversary year. With national activists, artists and commentors, we will remember the uprisings which swept UK inner cities and consider their legacies and lessons for today.

Liverpool 8 Against Apartheid
Continues throughout October
Museum of Liverpool

A display exploring some of the strong connections between Liverpool’s Black community, Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid movement.

COMING HOME: Jem Wharton
Continues throughout October
Museum of Liverpool

James ‘Jem’ Wharton was one of the most successful boxers in Britain in the first half of the 19th century.

Black History Month is a nationwide celebration of African and Caribbean culture, arts and history. Taking place annually during October, it recognises the achievements and contribution of Black people to British society.

For the full Black History Month events programme at National Museums Liverpool, visit
To find out more about Legacies of Transatlantic Slavery virtual classrooms, visit