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
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
5. Dope Black Men Breakfast, Westminster
6. Black History Month Stand-up Special, Soho Theatre
7. St Paul’s to Bank Black History Walk
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.