‘ma Rainey’s Black Bottom & Racial Trauma’ – Immersive Seminar & Screening

Thursday 14th July

An immersive Seminar on Racial Trauma, featuring a screening of ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’.


An immersive Seminar on racialised trauma, featuring a viewing of ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ and seminar on research and application of racial trauma in the UK in 2022.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a sophisticated portrayal of racial trauma and the narrative is analogous to the experience of people in the UK for whom the impact of racial trauma has been made invisible and social inequalities attributed to factors other than racism or racism in an abstracted way.

The event lead, Hári Sewell, is an academic, lecturer, trainer, author and system change professional on race and mental health for three decades.

The event is a small contribution to the movement to shift narratives from blaming to contextualising, whilst still encouraging accountability and the exercising of personal agency.


Screening of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, a George C. Wolfe dynamic film adaptation of August Wilson’s 1982 play, starring Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman. Described as a reclamation of Black music and culture, the film presents a fictional account of a day in the life of the early 20th century blues singer Ma Rainey, who helped to pioneer a genre whilst speaking candidly about Black life in America and challenged heteronormative ideas.

Presentation from Hári Sewell using content from the film as a reference alongside theories and research on the nature and consequences of racial trauma.

‘In Conversation’ with Guilaine Kinouani, director and founder of Race Reflections, author of Living While Black: The essential guide to overcoming Racial Trauma & psychologist and clinician working with issues of equality and justice.

Q&A session

The event is open to all, particularly members of the public who are interested in exploring racial trauma, professionals in mental health services in the community, educationalists, particularly in London and inner cities and statutory sectors, community workers working with Black and Asian young people connected with gang activity, parents of Black and Asian young people and those within the Black community.

The Visionary Arts Foundation showcase and encourage positive change through various entertainment and media platforms. We believe that the arts can be used as a soundboard for discussion and telling stories that educate and raise awareness to effectively make a change in our community and beyond.

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