R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Find out what it means at the special event for Black History Month

16th October 2018

A Northumbria University academic is set to co-host a unique multi-media show at Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle.

Brian Ward, Professor in American Studies at Northumbria, whose book Martin Luther King in Newcastle upon Tyne underpinned last year’s Freedom City 2017 celebrations, has joined forces with Famous 4:15, one of the North East’s leading stage schools, to devise and present RESPECT 2018, a multi-media event to mark Black History Month. Highlights of the event include:

Sorry, Not Sorry – a specially prepared short play performed by students from Famous 4:15 that deals in a hard-hitting yet entertaining way with issues of prejudice, bigotry and intolerance.

Daley Barber-Allen, who developed Sorry, Not Sorry with the young cast, explains: “The play explores themes of respect and tolerance in a thought-provoking piece of theatre inspired by real stories and recent media headlines covering hate crimes and discrimination.”

“Sorry, not Sorry brings to light some of these issues, but it also acts as a sort of ‘how to’ guide when considering how best to give love and respect to others. ‘We are not sorry for that.’”

Brian adds: “The problems addressed in Sorry, Not Sorry are the sort of problems Martin Luther King spoke of when he visited Newcastle in 1967 – and they are still all too common in today’s world.”

Civil Rites – a screening of Andrea Luka Zimmerman’s highly acclaimed short documentary about the places on Tyneside where echoes of the region’s radical political heritage can still be seen and felt.

Kay Greyson – a special performance by exciting local rapper Kay Greyson.

Katherine Monaco, founder and director of Famous 4:15, hopes to make this kind of event a regular part of the school’s programming: “It’s been great to collaborate with Brian and the Famous team to build on the legacy of Dr. King’s Newcastle visit. And, in the year we lost Aretha Franklin, there can be no better theme for this event than RESPECT.”

Brian, who will host the show and add some historical context to the proceedings said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with the talented teachers and young performers at Famous 4:15, with extraordinary filmmakers like Andrea Luka Zimmerman, and with powerful young voices like Kay Greyson. They are making sure that the local traditions of racial diversity and progressive politics I wrote about in my book are going to be remembered by – and inspire – a new generation.”