Black History Month has taken place every October for more than 35 years, across the UK.

This year’s Manchester programme includes a special exhibition to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the death of Ahmed Iqbal Ullah, a 13-year old boy who was murdered in 1986 while defending younger Bangladeshi children from racist bullying.

The Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust – named in his memory – was awarded a grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund to explore ‘The Legacy of Ahmed’, building an oral history and documentary archive.

The exhibition will share the history of the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Memorial School, built by Ahmed’s mother in their home village in Bangladesh and of the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre, at the University of Manchester.  The Legacy of Ahmed exhibition will be at Central Library from Monday 10 October – 3 January 2017.

Also at Central Library, photographers Charlie Phillips and Ian Johns will be talking about a selection of their photographs of black communities at a special event, hosted by the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre (Thursday 6 October, 5:30pm).

A Bollywood style Punch & Judy show, ‘Punjeet and Judy-Gee’, uses an upbeat, hilarious combination of traditional and modern elements to update the much-loved tale of Mr Punch for today’s multi-cultural Britain (Saturday 15 October – Withington Library, 11am – 12.30pm / Arcadia Library, Levenshulme, 2:30 – 4pm).

Other events include a talk from the author Ray Costello, who has written many books about black history – including ‘Black Tommies’, which explores the role of black soldiers in World War I (Tuesday 25 October, 6pm, Manchester Central Library).

And from 10 October. exhibitions will be held throughout Black History Month at libraries including Moss Side Powerhouse, Gorton Library – and Longsight Library & Learning Centre, where the work of young local artist Isaac Caton-Greasley will be displayed.

Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Councillor Luthfur Rahman, said: “Manchester Libraries are always proud to play their part in celebrating Black History Month and this year’s rich programme is no different.  With free family-friendly events and exhibitions being held right across the city, this is a great opportunity for residents to explore both new and familiar strands of Manchester’s heritage.”

Full listings for Manchester Libraries’ Black History Month activities follow

Photographing Britain’s Black History

Thursday 6 October, 5:30pm, Manchester Central Library 

Photographers Charlie Phillips (London) and Ian Johns (Manchester) show a selection of their photographs of black communities and talk about their experiences.  An Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre event.

Legacy of Ahmed Project exhibition

Manchester Central Library, Lower Ground Floor 

The exhibition will be open to all from 10 October – 3 January

Black History Month Exhibitions 

10 – 31 October 

Arcadia Library / Gorton Library / Hulme High St Library / Longsight Library & Learning Centre / Moss Side Powerhouse 

Pop into your local library to see ‘BME Lives’, an Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre exhibition. Longsight Library & Learning Centre also includes the thought-provoking portraiture of a young local artist, Isaac Caton-Greasley.

Ghanaian Storytelling with Afro Tots 

Saturday 15 October 2-3pm

Forum Library, Wythenshawe

Join Afro Tots as they listen to African music and a Ghanaian story teller, as she talks about life in Ghana and in the UK.  No need to book.

Prof Patel presents Punjeet and Judy-Gee 

Saturday 15 October 

Withington Library: 11 – 12.30 

Arcadia Library: 2:30 – 4

Bollywood style Punch & Judy.  Upbeat and funny, this show is a wonderful combination of the traditional and modern, keeping Mr Punch at the centre of the action whilst making the show relevant to modern multi-cultural Britain.  Followed by a fun join-in crafts session.

Black History Month Activities 

Brooklands Library, Wythenshawe 

Monday 17, Tuesday 18 October, 11am – 12noon 

Puppets and crafts activities.

Silk Screening African Prints Zine Workshop, with Archives+ 

North City Library, Monday 24 October, 2-4 

Burnage Library, Tuesday 25 October, 2-4 

Moss Side Powerhouse Library, Thursday 27 October 3-5pm 

Using African pattern books from the Archives+ Centre for inspiration, create your own individual African prints zine.  Try your hand at silk screening and create an African inspired t-shirt or bag.  Open to all ages – no need to book.

Ray Costello: Black History in Liverpool and soldiers in WWI 

Tuesday 25 October, 6pm 

Manchester Central Library

Ray Costello has explored the Black history of Liverpool for many years. Ray visits Manchester to talks about his work and the books he has written, including Black Liverpool (2001), Liverpool’s Black Pioneers (2007), Black Salt (2012) and Black Tommies (2015).  An Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre event.

Black History Month Activity Afternoon 

Didsbury Library 

Tuesday 25 October, 2-4pm

An afternoon of stories and crafts featuring books from the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre.  Aimed at 7-11 year olds, this will be an interactive session and suitable for children from all backgrounds.  Capacity is limited to 20, so please get in touch soon to reserve a place.

All events are free of charge