African Women Resistance Leaders: Political and Spiritual Pt1 (course)

Wednesday 1st February 6.30pm for 6 weeks

This 6 week online course (1st February 6.30pm )  will detail Black women who have fought against colonialism and racism over the last 400 years and examine their..

With the ‘Woman King’ starring Viola Davis, Hollywood is finally catching up with the amazing history of Black female resistance. BHW has been highlighting such stories since 2007 we therefore repeat our interactive, online course on the topic.

This 6 week online course will detail African/Caribbean women who have fought against colonialism and racism over the last 400 years as well as examine their varied spiritual belief systems.

Mainstream history consistently ignores the contribution of Black women in general, but many of these women used indigenous spiritual belief systems to sustain their own ideologies and inspire their followers. African civilisations and belief systems were, and are, routinely denigrated by Europeans which has led to stigma and mis-representation.

This is the first half of a 12 week course. Part two dates will be announced shortly. Part One is a general introduction and Part Two will go deeper into specifics and new but related topics.

Wednesdays from 2nd November for 6 weeks, 6.30pm-8.30pm.

In this 6 week course we will cover:

  • Pre-colonial African belief systems
  • Christianity as oppression and resistance
  • Sanite, Mbuya, Nanny Greg, Yaa, Fannie, Nzingha, Coretta, The Two Amys, Queen Thomas, Queen Amir, Yemaja, Oya, Dandara, Nehanda and Graca
  • 1970s women soldiers in Africa’s liberation wars
  • Black women’s resistance in English literature
  • Jamaica, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Mississippi, Haiti, Angola, Brazil, Cuba, Nigeria: Civil and Human Rights
  • Disparaging terms ‘Obeah’, ‘Juju’, the real history of Santeria, Candomble, and Jumbie
  • African religious beliefs and Hollywood superheroes
  • The African roots of the Zombie & movie metaphors
  • White female fragility and the co-options of feminism

We will use obscure and modern film clips, archival documents, rare books and essays, interviews , testimony from the women and their followers and small as well as large group work. This is a ‘camera on’ live course where participants will interact with each other and the presenters.

Course Objectives:

  • Provide political and spiritual context for 40 Black women leaders from 1660s to 1980s
  • Explain pre-colonial belief systems and their survival in post-colonial African diaspora
  • Analyse and explore white supremacist thought in mainstream media
  • Promote the consumption of Black history and literature
  • Provide extensive resources for further study
  • Detail little known films/series which tell stories of powerful Black women

Cost £105.00 for six-week course.(Part 1) book via Eventbrite

Other coming events in 2020 from

  • African Superheroes Day
  • The Marikana Massacre @BFI
  • The Marcus Garvey story @BFI
  • Black presence in the National Gallery
  • Pilots of the Caribbean + Tuskeegee Airmen (Red Tails) @phoenixcinema
  • Harlem in Mayfair, Soho, Hackney, Trafalgar square, Black History Walks
  • Medical Apartheid
  • Black History River Cruise and Bus tour
  • Reggae season at the BFI Southbank
  • Dr Cecil Belfield-Clarke (League of Coloured Peoples) plaque unveiling

About the course leaders

Dr Michelle Asantewa

Michelle Asantewa graduated from the then University of North London (now London Met) with First Class Honours in English. She completed an MRes (Masters in Research) in Postcolonial Studies and PhD on Guyanese Komfa there also. Guyanese Komfa practice involves spirit possession – spirits who manifest are identified as either African, Amerindian, Chinese, Dutch, English, Portuguese or Spanish, reflecting the historical context of previously colonised British Guyana. African indigenous and diasporic spiritual systems are her main research interest and cultural practice.

Concerned with the media image of black boys and gang-related violence, coupled with personal experiences of the realities and impact of this profile, Michelle explored these themes in her first novel Elijah. The novel considers the influences black youth are exposed to and how they impact their life choices. It explores cultural and peer identity as determiners for self-perception and social responsibility.

Michelle is Co-Chair and founding member of Johmard Lyme, a Voluntary Community Organisation that provides opportunities for young people to develop social, personal and life skills. She is also part of an organising group set up to redevelop Bogle L’Ouverture Publications. BLP was co-founded in 1968 by Eric Huntley and Jessica Huntley, and was among the first Black owned publishers in the UK. Michelle collaborates with Black History Walks on a range of Black History educational events, including courses, presentations and film screenings. She is regularly invited to curate and host a number of events. Michelle is a freelance literary consultant for the Literary Consultancy. Dr Asantewa collaborates with a number of community organisations, such as Black History Walks and Pan-Afrikan Society Community Forum, and Education Through Culture.

Book Now

Visit our Eventbrite page to book your place, or get in touch to find out more information.

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