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Learning Links International / Belong Nottingham

Black History Friday Lunchtime Conversations 2021

Season  3  ~~  Click Here to find the link for the next session on 14th May 21

We are using the same Zoom registration for all sessions but you have to register each week. 

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: May 21st, 2021 12:00 PM London

or any Friday at 12.00PM ....   until July 2nd 

Register in advance for this meeting:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Recording is here: https://youtu.be/4V9WpjNb4hU


We welcomed Bernard Jankee, Director of the Jamaica Memory Bank, who introduced the work of the Jamaica Memory Bank, and shared part of a video 'Conversation with Dr Jean Small’ - watch the full presentation on the importance of Storytelling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYVkbyKToyg&t=2s

Then Prof Sati Fwatshat, from Jos University, introduced the ’The Scramble for Africa’ 

and Yasus Afari spoke about his acclaimed book: ‘Overstanding Rastafari: Jamaica’s Gift to the World’ 

Recording is here: https://youtu.be/Yhx0eiiOHeQ


Lawrence Scott is a prize-winning Caribbean novelist and short-story writer from Trinidad & Tobago. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Literary Award for his “significant contribution to the development of Trinidad and Tobago’s Literature” in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of Trinidad and Tobago’s Independence, 1962-2012. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2019.

His latest novel 'Dangerous Freedom' was published by Papillote Press on March 31st 2021. In this radical and moving novel, Scott weaves fact with fiction to reveal "the great deception" exercised by the powerful on a mixed race child born in the late 18th century and brought up in the London home of England’s Lord Chief Justice

Click here for the recording: https://youtu.be/t4PFJrEpvhs



Click here for the recording of Season 3 Session 2 




The Black History Lunchtime Conversations series started in October 2020 and is bringing together a range of presenters with academic or community research backgrounds from Wales, Scotland, England and other countries with shared histories, as well as authors, poets and others who tell the stories and challenge our thinking.  A range of topics have been covered so far, and a number of other guest presenters are confirming their availibility for 2021.

This site will also support the sessions with additional resources, copies of presentations and relevant links for each topic.  

The Zoom sessions will be held on Friday lunchtimes from 12.00 – 1.30 every week.

The sessions are fairly informal, with opportunities for you to ask the presenters and the panel using the Chat option and we also keep the Zoom session on for a further half hour to enable more conversation and questions. We are sharing the recordings of the sessions. If you want to watch and comment, or go on our weekly mailing list, please use Contact Us.

Season 2 sessions below ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Friday 26th March at 12.00 - UK time

Click here for recording of the session: https://youtu.be/8H2TbjsgvCs


Friday 19th March at 12.00 UK time: 

Abu Bakr Madden-El Shabazz took time to share the story of his journey into being a historian: Click Here https://youtu.be/iGEc_orOYtw

Abu Bakr has been active in developing Black History training programmes in South Wales for some years and has provided opportunities for BHLC participants and many others to access his range of online training resources.


Click Here for the recording: https://youtu.be/l17e-Hr5B-g


Friday 5th March - 12.00 (UK time) 

Link to recording here: https://youtu.be/fw0QAVoii6U


Recording link here: https://youtu.be/AZjQfKUm3kE


There is no recording of this session.


Friday 12th February at 12.00 - Registration details below:

Recording to be posted


BHLC Season 2 - Session 4  on Friday 5th February at 12.00

Zoom joining details below


Friday 29th January

Registation details below:


Friday 22nd January 


Registration details:

If you missed this session - then we will be posting the recording here soon


To watch or listen to this fascinating session Click Here


Summary of Black History Lunchtime Conversations:  Season 1 - Oct - Dec 2020

Black History Lunchtime Conversations Review  : to print Click Here 

‘Season 1’    October – Dec 2020                                      

The first series of sessions brought together a range of presenters with academic or community research backgrounds from Wales, Scotland, England, Nigeria, Jamaica, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda, as well as authors, poets and others who tell the stories and challenge our thinking.  The range of topics evolved week by week, initially covering some of the research topics covered by Belong Nottingham, Learning Links International and David Alston’s research into ‘Slavery and the Highlands’.

Then we started to involve others to extend discussions, including Prof Sati Fwatshak, from Jos University in Nigeria, and Prof Sir Geoff Palmer. Belong Nottingham had HLF funds to support experimenting with Zoom and other social media, Learning Links International was not successful in gaining Black History Month / Arts Council funding in Wales, so we worked to develop this project on a voluntary basis. Thanks also go to Yasus Afari, from SenYAcum, in Jamaica for his ongoing support.

The ‘Season 1’ sessions covered:  

Session 1 - Dr Morgan Dalphinis, author of 'Caribbean and African Languages', spoke about his new book on St. Lucien Language and Culture.

Session 2 – Simon Ferrigno from Belong Nottingham introduced the research undertaken to find out more about David Livingstone and the Africans who assisted him, with further discussion about Henry Morton Stanley's role in the 'Scramble for Africa' linking with Welsh community researcher, Gwyneth Kensler.

Session 3 – Liz Millman from Learning Links International introduced research undertaken with the family of Rev. William Hughes on ‘Creating opportunities for Africans in Wales - Rev William Hughes and the students of the African Institute’, with support from Salamatu Fada from the North Wales Africa Society

Session 4 – Caroline Sansome and Liz Millman from Learning Links International introduced the work done by Community Research Volunteers on the NLHF project “From Sheep to Sugar” in Wales in 2019 to explore the story of the production of the fabric ‘Welsh Plains’ for use in the slave trade.

Session 5 - David Alston made a presentation about his research for his book 'The Highlands and Slavery' Also Jamaican Yasus Afari spoke about ‘Recognising the Role of artistes in telling the stories of Black History’.

Session 6 – Fashion designer, José Hendo, introduced her work with Bark Cloth, which she uses as part of her fashion and design projects, to link history with current usages of Bark Cloth. Welsh National Poet, Ifor ap Glyn, presented his Windrush poem.

Session 7 - Prof Sir Geoff Palmer, a campaigner for many years in Scotland to get the stories of Scotland’s role in the Slave Trade told openly, in conversation with Jamaican poet Yasus Afari.  Also introducing Prof Sati Fwatshak, from Jos University in Nigeria, presenting the work of African historian and authors.

Session 8 – Introducing Dr Jim Thakoordin's story of life back in Guyana, his interest in the history of plantation slavery in Guyana, as well as recognising his efforts to challenge the racism he found on coming to the UK and his work with Enrico Stennett.  

Liz Millman introduced the NAIDOC Week celebrations which are held across Australia to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Session 9 - Prof Chris Evans from University of South Wales, author of - 'Slave Wales - the Welsh and Atlantic Slavery 1650 - 1850' spoke about his interest in ‘Wales and the Slave Trade’. And we welcomed Dr Hilary Robertson Hickling – to share memories of her husband Prof Fred Hickling, author of 'Psychohistoriography - a post colonial pyschoanalytic and psychotherapeutic model' - who spoke and wrote about 'European-American Psychosis' in relation to his work on Cultural therapy.    Mfikela Jean Samuel also introduced ”International Talent Outreach”.

Session 10 - "Dr Livingstone, I presume?" - Revisiting the UK-DRC Sharing History” continued with  with contributions/talks from scholars, experts, historians, storytellers from both sides, the Congolese and the British. Local Denbigh researcher, Gwyneth Kensler, arranged for Tim Jeal - author of 'Stanley' to talk about what Stanley hoped for when he started to work on the Congo for King Leopold, based on his extensive research of the recently released papers which enabled him to write the book. Norbert Mbu-Mputu spoke about "The new UK/DRC Common History, Re-Visiting and Links: Challenges and Opportunities".  Ya Kil – shared his approach to using Hip Hop and Rap to get the message over with discussion about ways to engage young people / others in finding out more about Black History 

Session 11 – "Dr Livingstone, I presume?" continued with an introduction to the work of Chief Thomas Bikebi and with Richardo Mulinda talking about Stanley’s link with Uganda.

Session 12 - Special Event to reflect on the Black History Conversations of the last few weeks, with an update and views by Prof Geoff Palmer on challenging racism, a progress report by artiste Mifikela Jean Samuel on ‘International Talent Outreach’ and input from Prof Sati Fwatshak and Dr Jim Thakoordin talking about Black History themes to take forward in 2021.

Thanks also goes to all the presenters, and also Chris Campbell from the South Wales Jamaica Society, as well as Lesley Evans and Caroline Sansome from the North Wales Jamaica Society who are developing the Black History Book Club and Dr Salamatu Fada from the North Wales Africa Society. Thanks go to Yasus Afari and also to Mfikela Jean Samuel, our BHM Artist in Residence.

Links to the recording of each session - or additional information - see below or Click Here


Friday 18th December 2020 at 12:00 Mid-day 





You will find the recording on Belong Nottingham's YouTube Channel Click Here

and Tim Jeal's presentation Click Here 


Friday 27th November 2020



Friday 20th November 2020











To watch the recording click HERE


Friday 13th November 2020 

Check out Jim's site here:  www.jimthakoordin.com 

Find out more about NAIDOC week 2020 - Click here:  https://www.naidoc.org.au/

and find out more about Ron Bradfield's work 'In Plain Sight': Click below: 



Friday 6th November 2020  

If you missed it and want to spend an hour and a half catching up - Click HERE


Friday 30th October:

If you missed it and want to spend an hour and a half catching up - Click HERE 
as the recording is held on Belong's YouTube channel


Friday 23rd October:


If you missed it and want to spend an hour and a half catching up - Click HERE


Friday 16th Oct:  we focused on the story of Rev William Hughes and the African Institute, and started to explore the involvements of Henry Morton Stanley in Africa.

To watch the film shown last week 'The Remarkable Rev Hughes' that introduced the 'African Institute' project - click here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kN9WdVfj4bE

If you missed it and want to spend an hour and a half catching up - Click HERE


Fri 9th Oct:  We started the theme of European exploration of Africa, with presentations about Belong Nottingham's research on Livingstone and the Africans who assisted him, as well as a discussion abut Henry Morton Stanley's role. 

African perspectives on David Livingstone  - presented by the Belong team of Research Volunteers 

In 1864-65 the Victorian explorer, missionary and anti-slavery campaigner David Livingstone visited Newstead Abbey to write a book and spend time with friends and family, before returning to Africa on his journey to seek the source of the Nile, a journey from which he never returned alive; his wife Mary Moffatt had died in Africa during his previous expedition.


In 1874, three Africans, previously companions of David Livingstone and travellers in their own right – Abdullah Susi, James Chumah and Jacob Wainwright, who had led a 60 strong African mission to bring Livingstone's body back to the UK also visited Newstead Abbey, Nottingham, to help tell his story and their own.

Belong worked with a group of volunteers in 2019-2020 to explore these stories and their relevance to today's world, and to bring to life the fascinating but neglected story of these African visitors to Nottingham in the 19th Century.

If you missed it and want to spend an hour and a half catching up - Click HERE


Fri 2nd October:  The first event went well with a great panel of presenters including Dr Morgan Dalphinis, author of 'Caribbean and African Languages', with Artist, Mfikela Jean Samuel, from the Republic of Cameroon, and Jamaican poet, Yasus Afari, who joined us to launch the ‘Windrush Words’ project, along with the 'Windrush Writers' initiative. 

Thank you also to poet, Audrey West, for stepping in to share a poem about identity. Thanks Audrey. 

And thanks for those who managed to get logged into Zoom - we are all learning! For anyone who missed the session we will be putting the link the the Zoom recording here. 

To listen to the first Lunchtime Conversation - Click HERE  and be patient as we meet and greet before getting started!



We plan for the Black History Lunchtime Lecture Series to roll on throughout the year, working in partnership with Jamaican based 'SenYAcum", Race Council Cymru and other organisations 

The order and content of the sessions may be subject to change and in the following weeks, sessions are planned to cover the following themes:

Black Languages: Respect and recognition for Caribbean and African Languages 

Wales and Scotland – looking at other perspectives on the ‘Scramble for Africa’  

Wales and the Slave Trade

Teaching African History in Africa and in the Caribbean

Early Black Presence in Wales and Britain

Rastafari in Britain and the story of Emperor Haile Selassie’s UK stay and visit to Wales

Aboriginal Rights and the impact of Colonisation, and Welsh Plantation owners in Australia


We are also hosting a Black History Book Club on the 3rd Saturday of the month in the morning from 10 - 12 UK time with a coffee break. 



Background to these Black History Lunchtime Conversations:

Learning Links International has run Black History Month seminars for several year in North Wales, with some great speakers, including colleagues from the Royal Commission who spoke about Black Sailors who lost their lives off the Welsh coast during past wars. However despite having a great panel of presenters lined up for the LLI Black History Seminar - well Covid 19 hit. 

But also it seems Zoom was born in 2020 - or at least started to become used far more, so after Zoom conversations between Liz Millman, founder of Learning Links International, Simon Ferrigno, Heritage Officer at Belong Nottingham and David Alston from Highlands and Slavery, the idea of inviting more people with an interest in the shared history of the countries that currently make up Great Britain, to join in our conversations, so giving us the opportunity to ask people who we feel have really interesting stories to tell. 

We are planning for each session to have a planned theme, with 1 or 2 invited guests, and a panel including creative artists. We have found in our research that poetry has often been a way that the story of the time or the stories of the past are told, but obviously paintings and photography also tell stories and enable us to have insights.

However it may not work out that way and the sessions may take on a 'magazine' style with a range of interesting presentations and contributions depending on peoples' availability. We will also be able to record and present some speakers who find the timing difficult. 

Each session will also be recorded and posted online with links to films from projects posted on this site, and links to relevant articles and papers for each session also available on the website.

Learning Links International is supported by well-known Jamaican poet, Yasus Afari, who has both been an active participant in our Shared History projects and and Welsh poet, Martin Daws, who has supported Windrush Day remembrance activities in Bangor and other projects.  

Yasus Afari is currently linking schools and communities in the Ogwen Valley in Gwynedd, and the school and community in Pennants District in Clarendon, Jamaica, to produce an anthology called ‘Building Bridges’ following up work done in Wales last year when he took part in the Jamaica Wales Alliance BHM Tour of Wales.

Martin Daws is supporting the Black History Book Club sessions we have planned on the first Tuesday of each month for readers and writers. 

As part of the programme we will also be encouraging participants to write about the themes or shared history topics that interest them, in English or Welsh, in poetry or prose and we will add their contributions to this website or the Black History Book Club Website.

To set the sharing of Black History in Wales into a wider British context, we will also be inviting presenters from Scotland and England, as well as other parts of the world to share related history eg the stories of Black children working in stately homes, where there may not be much research undertaken in Wales specifically.

Through our links with Simon Ferrigno, who was a presenter at one of our previous Black History Month Seminars, we are working with ‘Belong Nottingham’ who will support the technical side of things eg hosting the Zoom sessions. 'Belong Nottingham' is a refugee founded and run organisation in Nottingham that runs programmes exploring Black History and hidden histories. Belong Nottingham has funding from the National Lottery to develop the online skills of their volunteers.

Belong Nottingham and Learning Links International have been collaborating for some time and are working to bring together a range of people as a panel each week, with presentations, discussions and questions.

Over the past few years, the Learning Links International team in North Wales have organised an annual Black History Symposium as part of LLI’s contribution to Wales Black History Month programme of activities. See the record of activities that have taken part in North Wales since 2010 to promote Black History Month.  Click HERE

However, this year like many others we are doing things differently and taking advantage of our growing confidence with Zoom  The 'Black History Lunchtime Seminar Series' became 'Black History Lunchtime Conversations' after is the result of consultation within the wide range of contacts and advisors we have built up over the years.

We are in discussion with Race Council Cymru re support for this project as part of the BHM programme and to explore a year long extension of this initial pilot to provide opportunities for discussion and work on building resources for school use.

For more information please contact the LLI Black History Lecture Series Co-ordinator:

Liz Millman, Learning Links International: lizmillman@yahoo.co.uk  or use the 'Contact Us' tab <<<


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