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The Music is Black: A British Story celebrates black music at the V&A 

The exhibition will be held in the new Stratford museum. 

The history of British music cannot be told without acknowledging the immense influence of black artists. To celebrate black artists’ contribution to the country’s music scene, the V&A is holding a special exhibition. The Music is Black: A British Story will open in spring 2025, and tickets will be available soon.  

The new exhibition will be held in the museum’s new Stratford location, which is in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The exhibition will cover 125 years of black music in Britain and will showcase how it has shaped the country’s culture. The curators will bring together music from carnivals, clubs, DJs and MC battles. So, we are expecting it to span calypso songs like Lord Kitchener’s London is the Place for Me, to rap songs by superstars like Stormzy. 

In Britain, there have been spaces specifically created to celebrate black artists, from the MOBO Awards to BBC 1Xtra. The exhibition will highlight pioneering acts including Aswad, M-People, Skunk Ananasie, and Steel Pulse. 

We’re hoping that the exhibition shows how black acts have (and have not) found a place in modern Britain, and how black music has gone from being marginalised to the mainstream. For example, Ed Sheeran was once named the most important UK artist in the black and urban music scene by 1ExtraPowerList. The list included the white singer Sam Smith at number two, and the black rapper Tinie Tempah at number three.

The official date for the exhibition has not yet been confirmed. 

Check in with FACT for the latest details. 

GO: Visit www.vam.ac.uk for more information. 

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Kohinoor Sahota - Deputy Editor
A sucker for a good story, if you invite Kohinoor to a gallery, comedy night, new restaurant, hiking trip, cycle ride, pool day or just about any activity, she’ll probably say yes – that is if she isn’t busy planning her next adventure.

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