Learn About Black British History At These Events This Month

Tamsin Salfrais Tamsin Salfrais - Branded Content Creator

black history month

From a lively stand-up special to insightful walks and talks, London is marking Black History Month in many ways.

October is Black History Month and, while Black history should be championed for more than just one month, this time of year really gives us the chance to acknowledge, celebrate and learn about the impact Black people and culture have had on London and England as a whole.

Across the month, there is a whole host of activities taking place at various locations in the capital, so there’s something for everyone to get involved, get inspired and get thinking.

1. Black History Month at The British Library

British Library

While The British Library hosts a range of inclusive events all year round, they shine the spotlight on the work of Black writers and poets even more during Black History Month. This year, they have a selection of talks you can stream online throughout the month. One such informative session will be led by historian David Olusoga, who will chat with Dr Omar Khan about his personal perspective on racism in Britain. Another will explore food enjoyed by various Black communities, and the politics around these dishes, with UK food writer and BBC Good Food columnist Melissa Thompson. Find out more on The British Library website.

2. Colourism, Stratford Library

Artist Caroline Chinakwe will be talking about her collection, Colourism, at Stratford Library on October 9. The event, hosted by CasildART who produce and curate art exhibitions, events and talks, will reveal why Chinakwe created the pieces and why the topic is so poignant. The Nigerian-born, London-based, mixed media artist will also display her thought-provoking pieces with other artists’ works at ‘Some Of Us Are Brave’, an exhibition you can browse at the library between October 8–30. Find out more here.

3. Channel B, Institute of Contemporary Arts

Starting from October 11, arts initiative Nine Nights will be putting on a series of sound and video installations at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. The venue, which is located on The Mall, near Trafalgar Square, will come alive with an audio-visual exploration of Black music, performance and art at the exhibition entitled Channel B. Between 12pm and 9pm every Tuesday–Sunday until January 2022, you’ll be able listen to the sounds of yesterday (well, specifically the likes of the 60s and pirate radio stations), as well as look to the future. Find out more about the installations here.

4. World Docks: the untold stories, Museum of London Docklands

Canary Wharf

On October 24, strap on your trainers to join an insightful walking tour, led by author and historian S.I. Martin. Starting at the Museum of London Docklands, the 90-minute route will take you through the streets around the West India Quay as you listen to real-life tales of the African and Caribbean seamen who lived in the area. On the walk, you’ll also hear prose, poetry, and extracts from newspaper entries as you learn these men and women’s stories. Find out more and book tickets here.

5. Dope Black Men Breakfast, Westminster


As part of UK Black Business Week, there will be a selection of talks with breakfast – of course – to inspire budding entrepreneurs. Taking place on October 26, the event will host panellists, spotlights and a Keynote speaker, Jermain Jackman, and explore topics such as entrepreneurship, mental health and collaboration. The event is sponsored by charity The Black Society, with 50% of all ticket sales going towards their mission to support people living in underserved areas, and elivating them, and therefore their communities, through nurturing their skills and talents. Find out more about the event here.

6. Black History Month Stand-up Special, Soho Theatre

comedy microphone

On October 27, Soho Theatre will put on a stellar stand-up night, featuring live comedy from Thanyia Moore (Funny Women Winner 2018) and Aurie Styla (BBC Radio London). The 75-minute show will feature a comedic and satirical look at important issues and prompt conversations from the audience long after the show has finished. Check out the Soho Theatre website for more information.

7. St Paul’s to Bank Black History Walk

St Paul's Cathedral

The well-established, guided St Paul’s to Bank Black History Walk is available on various dates throughout the year; why not join on October 31? As you stroll the familiar streets, you’ll learn about how hundreds of years of African and Caribbean influence has contributed to London’s way of life. Your guide will provide insights on architecture, secret societies, freedom fighters, slavery and much more as you amble around the oldest parts of London. Find out more here.

Find out more about Black History Month and other events here.

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