Equiano in Birmingham - London Jazz Festival - Statement of Regret at the NT - We Insist! Freedom Now Suite by Max Roach - The World is Yours by Ian Brown
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, until 13 January
This exhibition is of the life of Olaudah Equiano and his campaign to end British involvement in the slave trade.
It uses Equiano's 18th century autobiography, The Interesting Narrative, to tell his story from when he was first kidnapped from his West African village, to his writings and speeches which brought the horrors of the trade to the British people.
The exhibition uses major national and international artworks as well as objects from Birmingham Museum's own collections to explore the story of Equiano's life.
London Jazz Festival
Friday 16 to Sunday 25 November 2007
Almost 200 gigs and events take place across London with artists from all over the world. One of the highlights of this year has to be Charlie Haden's Quartet West playing on the opening night. Charlie Haden's last album, Not in Our Name, reassembled his Liberation Orchestra to make a stunning musical statement on the war.
If you can't make it to London, Verve has just released a new The Best of Quartet West CD.
Statement of Regret
by Kwame Kwei-Armah
National Theatre, London until 10 January 2008
Kwame Kwei-Armah won the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright in 2003 for Elmina's Kitchen.
Always politically engaged - he contributed to the book about how education fails black children Tell It Like It Is - his latest play looks interesting.
In it the founder of a Black policy think tank hits the bottle and in an attempt to regain influence publicly champions divisions within the Black community.
We Insist! Freedom Now Suite
This classic album could be the soundtrack to the civil rights movement. It has just been reissued in memory of drummer Max Roach who died this summer at the age of 83 (see the obituary in Socialist Review, September 2007).
The World is Yours
This is an outstanding album from the ex Stones Roses lead singer. Its rich orchestration and poignant lyrics make a powerful combination.
One stand out track is "Illegal Attacks" which must be one of the best anti-war songs around today.