Having hosted Black History Season (BHS) in 2012, Serendipity has since been awarded the tenure for the next three years by Leicester City Council. Held in October, Black History Month promotes the history and contribution that African and Caribbean communities have made to Leicester, helping to understand the present through our past.

The themes for 2013-2015 Black History Month Leicester are:

50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s I have a dream speech

Celebrating Nobel Prize Winners for Literature: first female Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison and Derek Walcott

Centenary birthday celebrations of jazz legend Billie Holiday

BHM 2015

Friday 25 September 2015
City Hall, Leicester 7:30pm

For its third year Serendipity is co-ordinating Leicester’s Black History Month. Annually taking place in the UK in the month of October, Black History Month recognises the contribution of individuals and communities from the African and African Caribbean Diaspora. Last year we celebrated Nobel Prize winners such as Toni Morrison and Derek Walcott, and 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s I have a dream speech.

The last two years brought a wide range of events from book launches to performances across a variety of art forms. This year we are commemorating the unique and unforgettable Jazz icon Billie Holiday, remembering the poignant voice that has lived on through the decades. On the centenary of her birth, we celebrate the contribution Jazz has made in diversifying the music industry and its renowned impact on cultural and social movements through the Jazz Age. 

This year’s exceptional guest is Jamaica’s First Lady of Jazz – Myrna Hague. Performing since the 1960’s, Myrna released her first album Melody Life with Studio One and is also a founder and organiser of Ocho Rios Jazz Festival.  As well as winning the Jamaica Music Industry Award for Jazz several times throughout her career, Myrna received a Caribbean Hall of Fame Award in 2012. She tours internationally, recently as a guest vocalist with Jazz Jamaica as part of Women in Jazz and the Big Band, and since 2011 has held the annual ‘Simply Myrna’ concert series.

BHMFilmFest 2015

As part of BHM 2015 and in-keeping with the theme of Jazz, Serendipity is organising a month long filmfest of some of the most iconic films of the late century. The events will be taking place at Phoenix Square Cinema across the month of October.

Wednesday 7 October 2015 – 7.00pm

Lady Sings the Blues (1972)

Dir: Sidney J. Furie, 2hr 24 min, 18

This discerning biopic examines the story of the troubled life and career of the legendary Jazz singer, Billie Holiday. The film documents Billie Holiday’s rise to fame, her struggle with drug addiction and her seminal influence on Jazz and stars Diana Ross.

Wednesday 14 October 2015 – 7pm

Jazz on a Summer’s Day (1960)

Dir: Bert Stern, 1hr 25 min, U

Set at the historic Newport Jazz festival in 1958, this documentary features performances by Thelonious Monk, Sal Salvador, Anita O’Day, Dinah Washington, Chuck Berry, Louis Armstrong and Mahalia Jackson to the backdrop of the city and the shoreline.  

Wednesday 21 October 2015 – 7pm

Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1989)

Dir: Charlotte Zwerin, 1hr 30 min, PG

Filled with archived footage of live performances and interviews with family and friend, this documentary provides an insightful reflection on the life and music of the often reserved bebop pianist and composer Thelonious Monk.

Wednesday 28 October 2015 – 6.30pm

Cabin in the Sky (1943)

Dir: Vincente Minnelli, 1 hr 38 min, U

Inspired by the story of Faust, Little Joe, a man killed over gambling debts, is restored to life and given six months to redeem his soul and become worthy of entering Heaven. Featuring a witty script and a beautiful score, this film was ground breaking in 1940s Hollywood as it features an all-African American cast.

Stormy Weather (1943) – 8.30pm

Dir: Andrew L. Stone, 1hr 18 min, U

Inspired by the life story of dancer Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson, which it also stars, Stormy Weather is consider by many as a retrospective showcase of African American entertainers, including the talents of Lena Horne, Cab Calloway, Katherine Dunham, Fats Waller and the Nicholas Brothers amongst others. 

 Tickets for events can be purchased from the Serendipity website:

Call For Submissions 2015

Serendipity is co-ordinating Leicester Black History Month in October 2015 and would like to receive copy and high resolution images (300dpi) for events you are organising. The Black History Month brochure, website and marketing media will include events taking place in the Month of October only.
Please ensure that the information you provide is accurate and eligible to be in the public domain. Event copy is subject to editorial amends to suit marketing and print media. Please complete the following form and return to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 29th June.

Download a PDF Form here.

Please let us know of any changes to information as soon as possible as changes to printed material at later stages will not be possible.