October is Black History Month. A time to celebrate, educate and champion diversity, it holds particular relevance in 2017’s political climate, with events taking place up and down the country in its honour. Of course, black culture is a vital part of the UK all year round, but if you’re fairly inexperienced with the topic, here are five ways to support black creatives and learn more about the rich tapestry of black history.

Watch: TED Talk interview with Black Lives Matter

The topics covered on TED Talks are virtually endless, and unsurprisingly, there are some particularly excellent ones centred on race and black culture.

A great place to start is with 2016’s interview with the team behind the revolutionary Black Lives Matter movement. A testament to the power of social media activism and the bravery of young black women, you’ll come away feeling informed and inspired to join their essential battle for justice and fair treatment.

Other great videos along similar themes include Bryan Stevenson’s "We Need To Talk About An Injustice", Kimberlé Crenshaw’s "The Urgency of Intersectionality" and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “The Danger of a Single Story.”

 

Listen: Friends Like Us Podcast

There is unfortunately still quite a way to go before we reach a level where black voices receive equal representation in the media, but fortunately, self-publishing has allowed the stories of previously misaligned cultures to thrive.

There are a great many excellent black-owned podcasts out there to enjoy, but it is "Friends Like Us" that we never miss an episode of. A valuable insight into the issues that face people of colour, no topic is left uncovered, ranging from representational issues to mental health via love, life and family.

 

Read: Black And British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga

Now considered to be an essential text, David Olusoga’s powerful read tracks back through a history between the British Isles and Africa that is far longer than many realise.

An award-winning filmmaker, his journalistic approach is thorough yet highly accessible, drawing from his own experiences as well as the often stark, deeply horrid history of racial inequality and slavery.

The perfect introduction for those looking to know more, it is accompanied by a BBC documentary of the same name.  

 

Visit: Soul Of A Nation - Art in The Age of Black Power

Showing at the Tate Modern right through to 22 October 2017, Soul Of A Nation is an intoxicating look at the contributions that black artists have made to American art and history, tracking right from the Civil Rights movement to the present day.

Including paintings, murals, fashion design and more, expect to see familiar images as well as some more modern works, including singer Solange Knowles interactive piece "Seventy States 2017".

 

Shop: Prick LDN


Gynelle Leon of Prick LDN photo via g-irl.com

As of 2015, it was estimated that black-owned businesses make up 13.4 per cent of the UK industry. From black haircare and beauty to social enterprise, these figures are growing by the day and deserve support.

One particularly inspiring entrepreneur to pay attention to is Gynelle Leon, a rising star in the traditionally white world of horticulture. Founder of Prick LDN, her shop on Kingsland Road, East London sells a beautiful array of cacti, succulents and plantware designed to connect us with nature and improve our wellbeing.

Other inspiring entrepreneurs include Freddie Harrel, confidence coach and founder of ethical afro-hair extension company Big Hair No Care, and Brandy Brown, owner of Marabou Design, a go-to for beautiful home décor, prints and giftware.

 

Read more from Jenessa Williams

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