Sony Music UK celebrates Black HERstory Month
October was dedicated to highlighting the achievements and contributions of Black women within the industry and beyond. Sony Music UK and its internal Diversity committee HUE (Helping Unite Everyone) reclaimed October as Black HERstory and curated a month filled with engaging conversations, empowering events, and a vibrant market showcasing Black women makers.
Black HERstory served as a reminder of the countless contributions of Black women throughout history and their ongoing impact on society, reinforced the need for continued efforts towards equality, and emphasised the importance of acknowledging and honouring the achievements of Black women in the industry.
The month kicked off with a special conversation featuring renowned author and broadcaster Afua Hirsch, hosted by 4th Floor Creative’s Lea Ogunlami. Afua shared her insights and experiences, shedding light on the incredible resilience and strength of Black women in the face of adversity. Her discussions highlighted the importance of celebrating Black women and the need for greater representation in all aspects of society.
Evelyn Dove, the first woman of African heritage broadcast singing on BBC Radio, was celebrated with a London blue plaque – the second of three sponsored by Sony Music UK’s Social Justice Fund, in partnership with charity Nubian Jak. The plaques commemorate Black Britons’ contributions to music culture and history.
The Black Music Coalition’s executive committee and founding members Char Grant, Komali Scott-Jones, Sheryl Nwosu, and Afryea Henry-Fontaine took part in another notable conversation hosted by Bre McDermott-King, International Product Manager at AWAL. The discussion provided a platform to celebrate the accomplishments of Black women, examine the challenges they face, and inspire future generations to rise above barriers and embrace their full potential.
The Impact and Inclusion Team hosted Lady Phyll, founder of UK Black Pride and Executive Director of The Kaleidoscope Trust for a conversation with Charlotte Edgeworth, Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Social Impact. Attended by both staff and external guests, the event delved into topics of intersectionality, race, gender, class, and sexuality.
Another highlight was the Black Music and Executive Power event in partnership with Young Music Boss, where Sony Music’s Director of Africa, Taponeswa Mavunga, discussed her journey in the music industry and the rise of African music today. Following this, Negla Abdela, Managing Director of Ministry of Sound and Christel Kayibi, Director of Repertoire Strategy Africa discussed the importance of Black women in positions of power and influence with Debbie Gayle, co-founder of LiveSource.
In partnership with Sony Music UK’s internal neurodiversity committee S.O.U.N.D, the month closed with a powerful and engaging discussion on neurodiversity with Ife Thomas, hosted by 4th Floor’s Kat Thomas.