Black Then, Black Now: Hair braiding, yoga and more

Past event –

This year for Black History Month we’re mixing things up.

As well as turning things on their head on the 1st October (filling Central Library cafe with live music and the Performance Space with free food), AIU Centre x Big People Music have created some events that wouldn’t usually be found in Black History Month. But we think they should from now on! They’re FREE, but spaces are limited – so please book through our Eventbrite page here to make sure you don’t miss out!

Hair Braiding Workshop

Hair braiding expert Sophia Reeves

On the 28th October, Central Library’s Performance Space will be transformed into a salon of sorts; we will be hosting ‘A Story of your Crown’, a hair braiding workshop run by Sophia Reeves. This masterclass in the science and skill of braiding hair aims to inspire, empower and educate on Black hair, which has been, and continues to be, heavily politicised.

Also on show at the event will be one of the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust’s book projects, Her Hair A Crown, which was completed in 2018. Year 10 students from Cedar Mount Academy worked together to create this children’s book to inspire young black girls to embrace and love their natural hair.

Book here:

Please note: There are two separate workshops, with two separate booking pages! 11am-1pm (Ages 13-17) 2pm-4pm (Ages 18+)

African Yoga

On the 30th October, we invite you to take a deep breath, and relax. A session of African yoga will be taking place in the Performance Space, with both practical and educational benefits. You will learn how to use African yoga to improve your health and wellbeing through postures, pranayama (breathwork) and Hudu (African Tai Chi).

Leading the class will be Nai Davina, a certified Afrikan, Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga Teacher, Doula and Wellness facilitator, has worked in rehabilitation units, prisons, and schools in Manchester and globally. She uses her passion to bring health, well being and self-transformation to all those she works with.

Afrikan, Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga Teacher – Nai Davina

This session of merging mind with body will take place 11am-12pm, and is open to anyone over the age of 13. Please book here:

Afrocentric Fine Art

Also on the 30th October, an opportunity for you to discover (or rediscover, or expand!) your artistic talents through the medium of African painting. In a workshop run by Manchester-based artist and digital illustrator Rakaya, you will have the opportunity to paint your own canvas of artwork while learning about traditional African artistic techniques.

Work by Manchester-based artist, Rakaya

We will be running two sessions, 1-2pm for ages 5-12, and 3-4pm for ages 13+. Please book your age-appropriate place here:

Each of these events ultimately aims to remind Manchester (and the world!) that Black history is everyone’s history, and October is not the only month for remembering that. Please join us for these fantastic activities – the more the merrier – and don’t forget to check out @aiucentre on Twitter and Facebook, the Events page on our website, and Eventbrite for more info!