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'Time for Change: Action Not Words' is the theme for Black History Month (BHM) 2022 and Portsmouth City Council will be honouring the subject by providing tributes and learning opportunities throughout the city this month (October).

Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery has partnered with the Pompey History Society to put together a display on the title-winning footballer, Lindy Delapenha, in their newly refreshed Pompey Football Club (FC) gallery on the second floor. Delapenha was the first Jamaican to play British League football and played for Portsmouth FC. During his stint between 1948-1950, he helped the club become champions of England. Colin Farmery, the chair of Portsmouth FC 125th Anniversary Committee, will be speaking about Delapenha’s legacy at a launch event on Wednesday 26 October at Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery.

Cllr Chris Attwell, the council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Central Services, said: “We were fortunate to have such a talented player as Lindy Delapenha. Though it was far too late, I am proud that Portsmouth was one of the first cities to have a Black player represent their league, and I hope people see that’s a reflection of our rich, diverse and accepting culture.”

Cllr Attwell will be attending the event, along with Cllr Steve Pitt, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure, and Economic Development at Portsmouth City Council.

There will be free resources available throughout Portsmouth libraries, via book collections accompanied by official BHM posters and timelines to educate readers on the progress of Black history. Books on display will celebrate Black culture, writers and celebrities, people who have made a difference and those who have impacted Black rights.

One featured title is The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon, which explores the immigrant life in London in the 1950s and will be the library’s zoom reading club’s ‘book of the month’. There are also timely and prevalent books that cover the Black Lives Matter movement. These displays will be available at North End and Central libraries, with eAudiobooks and eBooks available on Borrowbox.

eBooks and eAudio books are usually borrowed on a one-borrower per copy basis, however, to mark Black History Month, the ‘book of the month’ will have the limitation removed, to allow hundreds of people to read it this October. The title will be David Harewood’s Maybe I Don’t Belong Here, a memoir that explores the duality of growing up both Black and British.

Cllr Steve Pitt said: “Black history is British history. Whilst we pay special tribute every October, it is important to me and to the council that our libraries, charities and museums educate and celebrate this wonderful culture 365 days a year.”

Portsmouth Film Society will be hosting a month’s worth of enlightening and prominent films at their Southsea Branch. Tickets are between ¬£4-6 and are available to buy online. Details of the showings are:

  • Thursday 6 October 7pm
    In the Heat of the Night (1967)
  • Sunday 9 October 1pm
    The Harder They Come (1972)
  • 11 October 7pm
    The Stuart Hall Project (2013)
  • 12 October 7pm and 16 October 6pm
    Queen of Glory (2021)
  • Friday 21 October 7pm
    Mississippi Burning (1988)
  • Tuesday 25 October 7pm
    Summer of Soul (2021)
  • Saturday 29 October 7pm
    One Night in Miami (2020)

For more information visit Black History Month – Portsmouth City Council.