Preview: Black History Month

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 142 months ago

Last Updated 27 September 2012

Preview: Black History Month

October is Black History Month and we're kind of overwhelmed by the sheer amount of – mainly free – stuff happening. It would be literally impossible to list everything so we've picked out some highlights and linked up to each borough's full listings. Let us know about anything else you think is a must-see in the comments.


  • 5 Oct, 6pm: novelist Alex Wheatle talks about his books and celebrates the 50th anniversary of Jamaica's independence at Fore Street Library (£1).
  • 18 Oct, 8pm: comedian Imran Yusuf performs his show Bring the Thunder at the Dugdale Centre (£12.50).
  • 24 Oct, 7.30pm: And Then We Came is a documentary about Enfield's African-Caribbean population to the 1970s. Head to the Dugdale Centre (£5).
  • 28 Oct, 7pm: Musical Youth – yep, of Pass the Dutchie fame – perform at the Millfield Theatre (£13-£16).


  • 6 Oct, 11am: free guided history walk, leaving from Hackney Town Hall.
  • 9 Oct, 6pm: Tony Warner looks at charismatic and inspiring Black political leaders from around the world – but not the obvious ones – at Hackney Central Library.
  • 25 Oct, 6.45pm: wonderful poet and storyteller Sandra Agard is at Stoke Newington Library.
  • 30 Oct, 2pm: take your under 5s to Woodberry Down Community Library for storytelling and games from the Crick Crack Club.


  • 6 Oct: an African market starts at 11am, followed by a dinner and culture show (with homemade Caribbean food) at 6pm at Tetherdown Primary School (dinner £12 / £6).
  • 9 Oct, 7.30pm: The Story of Lovers Rock is a film about 70s romantic reggae. The director is doing a Q&A after the screening at the Marcus Garvey Library.
  • 13 Oct, 2pm: Sam M Amalemba introduced his book Becoming..., short stories from Britain and Kenya, at St Ann's Library.
  • 31 Oct, 7.30pm: see Julien Temple's documentary London: The Modern Babylon at the Bruce Castle Museum.


  • 6 Oct, 2pm: author Courttia Newland leads a workshop responding to the National Archives' photos from colonial Jamaica and Trinidad, at Minet Library.
  • 16 Oct, 12pm: the Ritzy Cinema is screening a Paul Robeson classic, Songs of Freedom, followed by a Q&A with film organisation The New Black (£3.50).
  • 26 Oct, 7pm: poet and former prisoner Christopher Syrus performs emotional and inspirational tales at Clapham Library.
  • 31 Oct, 6pm: Rashid Nix presents a hip hop history at West Norwood Library.


  • 4 Oct, 7pm: Jacob Sam-La Rose celebrates National Poetry Day with young people from the Speaking Volumes project, at Deptford Lounge.
  • 7 Oct, 7pm: the Afrovibes Festival at The Albany concludes with the jazz and afrobeat Sibikwa orchestra (£8 / £14).
  • 18 Oct, 7pm: SI Martin recalls Deptford's black maritime history followed by shanties and imaginary journeys from El Crises, at the Deptford Lounge again.
  • 25 Oct, 7.30pm: Sydenham Film Club presents the recent documentary Marley (£5).


  • 3 Oct, 7pm: celebrate black LGBT authors at Woolfson & Tay bookshop.
  • 12 Oct, 6pm: discover the Krio people of Sierra Leone through performance, film, an exhibition and discussions at The Crypt at St Peter's, SE17.
  • 12 Oct, 6.30pm: award-winning author Bernadine Evaristo reads from her new book Blonde Roots at Camberwell Library.
  • 20 Oct, 6pm: sporting legends and young talent are at Canada Water Library to talk about their achievements and inspire others.

Tower Hamlets

  • 6 Oct, 6.30pm: the documentary following Muhammad Ali's 1978 tour of Bangladesh is screening at Rich Mix.
  • 7 Oct, 11am: investigate and celebrate the history of black hair, again at Rich Mix.
  • 15 Oct, 3pm: get a free lesson in Jazz African dance at the Ideas Store.
  • 19 Oct, 6pm: Somali Week launches at Oxford House with writers and poets discussing courage.


  • 6 Oct, 1pm: Colin Babb talks about the links between Caribbean cricket, migration and identity at Southfields Library.
  • 27 Oct, 11am: Earlsfield Library hosts a sari and spices workshop, then be at Southfields library by 1pm for a capoeira workshop.
  • 30 Oct: celebrate Diwali at Tooting Library (11am) and York Gardens Library (2.30pm) with dance and storytelling.
There are also loads of storytelling and craft sessions for children, plus smaller programmes happening in Barnet, Croydon, Ealing, Islington and Kensington. Where events are free, you're often strongly advised to book – you can find details on each of the borough websites.