birkbeck events

We are hosting a series of Queen Nzinga lectures, and other events, at Birbeck University of London. Below are the next three listings on Academia, Comedy and Resistance. All events are free but must be booked via (just search for event title in London)

Queen Nzinga Lecture series 1 to 12

Queen Nzinga was an African Queen who fought against the European invasion of southern Africa (Congo/Angola). The Queen Nzinga lecture series will feature African female academics / holders of expert knowledge, speaking on topics of their choice on a monthly basis. The Nzinga lecture series will provide a regular platform for women of African descent to highlight important issues in  an academic setting. The next lecture is Black Women in Academia Success, Secrets and Coping Strategies on Sat 23 March 6 to 9pm.This lecture is a continuation of the previously over-subscribed Black Women in Academia event where a desire for further talks was expressed as well as the need for a Black Women in Academia Support GroupDr Michelle Asantewa will present an update on the group.

This lecture features two more African/Caribbean women who have achieved, or are on their way to achieving, Phd's. They will speak about their experiences in academia as well join an extended Q and A to expand on their revelations.

see sample of previous lecture here 

Speakers include:

Ekua Agha Phd Candidate at Birkbeck and a lecturer at College of North West London . Her first degree was in Political Science, she then did an MA in French and Francophone Studies at Westminster. Her doctoral thesis is on Post Colonial Studies and the representations of gender and the past and present 'invention' of Africa.She has previously worked as a researcher on the award-winning Law and Order TV series and is currently producing a documentary titled Chocolate Matters: Ghana Cocoa and British Bars

Veronica Mason is a Senior Lecturer and the Degree Course Leader for the BSc Youth Studies Programme within the Faculty of Applied Social Sciences at London Metropolitan University.  As a professionally qualified Youth and Community Worker with over 10 years youth work experience, she holds a MA Degree in Applied Anthropology, Community and Youth Work, a BSc Degree in Sociology and Psychology and a Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education. .  Veronica has worked with a range of organisations including Havering’s Social Services and Youth Service, Tower Hamlets Youth Offending Team & Youth Service and the London East Connexions Partnership.  held roles such as Deputy Manager, Project Co-ordinator, Senior Youth Worker and YISP Preventions Officer (YOT)

Dr Michelle Asantewa, is an English and Creative writing lecturer at London Met University. She has also curated several black history film events at the university and spoke on womens resistance in 18th century literature at the first Queen Nzinga Lecture last year.

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 The Black History of Comedy Saturday April 6 at 7pm: Comedians often use history as part of their material. In this interactive session we piece together a visual tapestry of the best historical comedy from great known and unknown comics from the 1960's to now  We will also place their comical observations on a historical timeline of international struggle for African equality and show how comedy can be educational. Be prepared to laugh your head off and learn about world history at the same time. Presented by  


In association with we present the premiere of the multi award winning film.. Black Hands: The Sister who burned down Montreal  on Sat April 20th 6.30 to 9pm

 black hands


Black Hands - Trial of the Arsonist Slave" investigates slavery in Canada through the story of Marie-Josèphe Angélique, a Black slave accused of burning Montreal in 1734. After an epic trial, this untameable slave is tortured and sentenced to death. But was she really guilty of this crime or was she the victim of a bigger conspiracy? Why this voluntary amnesia about this unknown page of Canadian history?


A fascinating  documentary that powerfully mixes interviews with historians and theatre re-enactments. Having its world premiere at the Montreal World Film Festival in the summer of 2010, the film is inspired by a play that was first presented in 2009, during the 275th anniversary of the Black slave Marie-Josèphe Angélique's execution. Tetchena Bellange, who portrayed Angelique in a play that she co-produced, was so touched by the story of this Black woman, she decided to explore the story further. Learning more about the history of Blacks in New France and about the woman who refused her slave status


Admission free but must book via Eventbrite . Donations accepted


Click here for map R




Loving black couples, a rare sight on British TV but why ?

Saturday 6 April 3pm to 6pm,


Conference Room, Voluntary Action Islington


200a Pentonville Road, London N1 9JP


Tube: Kings Cross (5 mins walk)


Entry: £7.00 adults, £5 kids. Pay on the door, first come first served.

A very revealing presentation and short films which show how the image of African people has been deliberately altered by Europeans to show negativity. In the 15th century African people were portrayed in European art as noble, sophisticated and dignified. With the rise of Empire these images were thrown out and replaced with demeaning stereotypes which still inform public opinion via children’s books, Hollywood movies and tv adverts. Previously held at the National Portrait Gallery and Imperial War museum in 2008 to full houses

Ludacris - Chicken-N-Beer

How to Brainwash the Youth and make them Act like Fools !

Presented in association with the Adefioye Trust

Bank Holiday Monday 1st April New Time 12pm to 4pm. Prompt start

CAN Mezzanine

32-36 Loman Street

London SE1 OEH click for map

Entry £5 adults or children. First come, first served

Tube: Southwark, Borough 

Previously sold out and back by popular demand. BHW present this highly rated, in-your-face seminar aimed at children and parents to illustrate how they are conditioned via Hollywood movies, music videos, computer games and advertising to act dumb and love it. This presentation uses  pop and mainstream culture combined with a black history perspective. Battle Los Angeles, Scary Movie, Predator, Lil Wayne, Futurama, Disney, 300, Trinidad James, GTA, Eastenders, Nikki Minaj, Ciara, Nelly, Etana, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of Caribbean, Transformers Call of Duty, Walking Dead all make an appearance

Comments on How to Brainwash..


I have been meaning to write you all week to thank you for the informative and thought-provoking session you held for ACD students last week.  It was tremendous.What was really satisfying is that you held their attention throughout the 3 hour session even in the not ideal situation of being cramped into the foyer space due to the projector being taken by another organisation.  Brenda King, African Caribbean Diversity Group


'Just to say, once again, thanks for the fabulous presentation yesterday.  It is always great to be around children when they are learning something new and enlightening for them'   Marva Bell Pivot Point Community Project Harrow.


I'm a student who is part of the ACDiversity programme and you came in to talk to us about the issue of 'How to brainwash the youth and make them look like idiots'  This was so so powerful and helped shape my view on what the media feeds me. I have a few friends around my age, I'm eighteen by the way, who I believe will truly benefit from this as I think it needs to be seen by A LOT more  youth who are mature enough to take it in and understand. Peter Adefioye


'I loved the way the speaker would just ask questions and make us find the answers ourselves. This is perfect because what is the point of coming to an event to counter brainwashing, only to have someone else tell you what to think. The speakers way was much better plus filling in the blank yourself means that it is more likely to stay in your head.'


Joe Bloog



Django Unchained or Tarantino Unrestrained ?

Movie Breakdown with Dr Lez Henry and Brother Hakim

Friday 29 March 3pm to 6pm,

Conference Room, Voluntary Action Islington

200a Pentonville Road, London N1 9JP

Tube: Kings Cross (5 mins walk)

Entry: £8.00 adults, not suitable for under 16's  Pay on the door, first come first served.

Loved and hated by some people we apply a forensic historical and cultural analysis of this controversial film adding in little known facts about the producers, actors and director to answer the following and more questions.

Is Django a symbol of black male empowerment ?

Why was this fictional film, with a majority black cast so welcomed by Hollywood while the true story of Red Tails, with a majority black cast,  rejected and dismissed ?

What about the actual stories of rebellious slaves ? Do such movies exist ?

What obvious and hidden messages were in the film ?

Dr Lez Henry is an author, cultural critic and communit activist. Brother Hakim 'the Film Doctor', has been researching Hollywood films and presenting breakdowns for several years . Together these 'Street Surgeons' they will bring an unforgettable session of reasoning which includes you the audience. So bring your minds and make sure they are open



African Superheroes Day 

Saturday 30 March  3.00pm to 6.30pm,

Conference Room, Voluntary Action Camden

200a Pentonville Road, 

Tube: Kings Cross (5 mins walk)

Entry: £7.00 Adults, £5 kids  Pay on the door, first come first served. event

Many  artists are making up for the severe lack of positive images of black people in animated films and comics. We will show the history of black people in cartoons and reveal how African/Caribbean culture is essential to many block buster animations. We also expose stereotyping in some of the most popular cartoons from Disney. This animation festival for 6-60 year olds, will feature a variety of African-themed cartoons which tell tales of; Magical Nigerian women warriors, Anansi the West African Folk Hero, The story of Ogun, and other heroic black men and women. Plus examples of new Superhero cartoons/movies  coming soon !

Comments on African Superheroes Day

The African super heroes session today was great !  My two children really, enjoyed it.  They couldn't wait to get home and watch the DVD, which they did more than once .   It's 8.42am and the first thing all of my children are watching is that DVD I bought from you on Sunday (lol) no joke.   My 14 year old daughter, my 7 year old son and my 3 year old daughter are watching as I e-mail you but I need some more !  My children are hooked on the images and the story lines of all of them.


Kehinde Ogunlabi


' Surprisingly one of the best set pieces was a breakdown of the use of African culture including our dance and music traditions. The historical narrative provided  was both insightful and entertaining. The width of the section presented was breathtaking from tap dance to capoeira. In closing, guest animators were invited to share details of some of the challenges faced by artists and announce projects in production such as the exciting Anokyes Sword .It is not often a community event makes history. This one, which engaged adult and child alike through the world of animation. African Superheroes Day is a first that should be celebrated, and then repeated

Toyin Agbetu, Director and Author