Online course

Sounds of Hope and Glory: Black Music in Britain

Wednesday 20 October 2021 - Wednesday 24 November 2021

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Join us as we survey the British canon of Black music. This six-week course delves into the V&A's catalogue of prints, posters, photographs, play bills, and entertainment graphics. Drawing on the works of distinct Caribbean intellectuals, Marcus Garvey, CLR James, Claudia Jones and Stuart Hall, we trace how their revolutionary output can be found within British soul, R&B, lover’s rock, dub-poetry, jazz funk, jungle, UK garage, Grime and Afrobeats.

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V&A Academy Online art history courses bring you all the richness and rigour of the V&A through an easy-to-use platform built with the latest Microsoft technology.

Learn wherever, whenever. With V&A Academy Online, you can log in to view lectures live and pose your questions in the Q&A, or view the recording later in your own time. Download lecture notes, copies of the slides, and additional study materials from our secure learning environment. Then join the conversation: share your perspective with your fellow students, and support each other in your further enquiries outside of class time.

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Images: (1) Scrapbook (Billy Waters) by Thomas Busby, 1820. Museum no. E.1070-1921; (2) Shirley Bassey, Palladium TV debut, 1957. Photo by Harry Hammond. Museum no. S.7057-2009; (3) She Rockers by Normski, 1988, Museum no. E.112-2012.

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Jacqueline Springer

Course Leader Jacqueline Springer

Working under the banner of Contemporary Black Music Culture, Jacqueline Springer is a broadcast music journalist, university lecturer and event curator, specialising in the studies of contemporary Black musics, medias and cultures. Jacqueline continues to teach at undergraduate level, and contributes to BBC arts programming.

The online format is excellent. It allows me to participate live when I can but not miss out if I cannot. I am a big fan of this new format. Previous Online Course Participant

Course Overview

This course explores Black music in Britain and the complexities of early Music Hall awash with gendered and racial stereotyping that gave way to Black performative subversion of racism. We intend to review the classed, racialised and moral rebelliousness of Jazz and examine hi-life (highlife), calypso, ska, rocksteady, and reggae’s success as post-war affirmations of identity and belonging for Black émigrés in Britain. This is a prime opportunity to consider how Black music in Britain was influenced by radical, and at times revolutionary arguments, criticisms, predictions, and recommendations against and about British colonial and post-colonial thought, and the effects of the politicisation of racialised identities in what was assertively christened ‘the Mother Country’ - reminisce, share oral testimony, and draw on your collective memory, lived experiences, and personal recollections as invested fans and curious music lovers.


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V&A Academy Online courses are built using the latest Microsoft software. Tune in to expert lectures live, or catch up later on demand. Download handouts and presentations. Join the discussion in a secure, closed class environment, wherever you are.

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Online course: Sounds of Hope and Glory: Black Music in Britain

20 October 2021 - 24 November 2021


Need help enrolling? Talk to the admissions team:

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Open 9.30 - 17.30, Monday to Sunday (closed 24-26 December)

Background image: Scrapbook (Billy Waters), from Costume of the Lower Orders by Thomas Busby, 1820. Museum no. E.1070-1921.