Each year in October, Black History Month sees people, schools, libraries, groups and organisations host events to celebrate the history of African, Caribbean and diaspora communities. This year marks a special month as it will be the 70th anniversary of Empire Windrush. With most events free, we have rounded up 5 events to attend, but the full list can be downloaded here.
Image: Elevation Networks
The Great Debate Tour
London South bank University
103 Borough Road
Date: 16th October 6pm – 9pm
Nearest tube: Elephant and Castle
Hosted at London’s South Bank University, this free event hopes to act as a forum for powerful, thought provoking discussion through debating with the help of a panel of experts. Targeted at young Black African and Caribbean communities, the Great Debate will explore issues that ethnic minority’s face whilst celebrating diversity and heritage. The panel will consist of councillors, MP’s and community activists. Make sure to register through Eventbrite here.
From Windrush to Star Wars: 70 years of Southwark’s Black Pioneers
368 Lordship Lane
Date: Thursday 25th 11am – 6.30pm
Nearest Tube: East Dulwich (Overground)
Detailing the challenges the Windrush Generation faced, this exhibition views archived material including films, press cutting, interviews and posters from the borough’s historic records. These documents tell the stories from Southwark’s Caribbean and African diaspora communities as they faced making a strange land feel like home whilst being challenged with racial discrimination. The exhibition is free to attend.
1-6 Peckham Town Centre Car Park
95A Rye Lane
Nearest tube: Peckham Rye (Overground)
Date: 13th October 6pm-9pm Launch Day
Exhibition open daily from 10am – 11pm until 27th October
‘Hairytage’ is a collaboration between artists Alix Bizet and the students of Harris Girl’s Academy to create a live art experience. Its aim is to explore the importance of afro hair to the black identity; from traditions and cultural significance to customs and beliefs.
The students and artist hope to teach the audiences about the significance hair has played in social groupings and as bonding in Afro-Caribbean societies. This is a free event.
Concert by Chineke! Orchestra
50/57 Hampton Street
Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street
Date: 27th October 6.30pm – 20:00
Following on from last year’s sold out concert, the ensemble from the world-renowned Chineke! Orchestra are returning to Draper Hall to perform music by black British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Coleridge-Taylor was an English composer of mixed heritage and was referred to by white musicians in New York as the “African Mahler” after three tours of the United States in the early 1900’s. Suitable for all ages, children under 6 years of age can go free, adults will be charged £4.
Throughout October and various locations
Throughout the month of October and to celebrate Black History Month, three libraries across London are giving the chance to research your own Caribbean family history. Using overseas records, this experience hopes to be part of a collective journey of discovery in to your family roots. The workshops also aim to provide you with the tips sand tools on getting the most from your research and how to use family history websites. No booking is required for these sessions and they are free to attend.
Will you be heading to any of these celebrations in October? Let us know in the comments!