October is Black History Month, and with it comes a multitude of events to celebrate, share and promote knowledge of African and Caribbean history. Activities are taking place all across London — we suggest you check your local council to find out what is taking place near you, but here are some highlights. Please let us know of other great stuff we have missed in the comments below.
Hackney Council has launched an extensive season of free events in celebration of the month. There is simply too much to list so do take a look at the programme, but with museum exhibitions, guided walks, behind the scenes tours of Hackney archives, book discussions, various workshops (including puppet, mask, and braid making), song and storytelling sessions, performances and more, there is no shortage of things to get involved with.
In one particular eye-catcher, the National Trust’s Sutton House puts on a trail and exhibition, where visitors can explore the diverse lives of Influential black Londoners across the last 500 years. On 21 October, a talk by Dr Miranda Kaufmann and Michael Ohajuru looks at the image and reality of Black Africans in Renaissance England.
Islington and Lambeth Council also have plenty of events on offer. Islington’s programme is film-focused, with free screenings of films such as Guerilla Grannies, Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored, and The Long Walk of Nelson Mandela.
Lambeth Council highlights include a talk by Lloyd Bradley on 100 years of black music in the capital, an evening celebrating African and Caribbean words and food, and a Dads and Daughters Celebration Ball.
Films and discussions take place at Stratford East Picturehouse, as academics from Birkbeck share their insights from different disciplines, including history and law, following film screenings.
Rich Mix in Bethnal Green hosts an African market, so you can get your hands on authentic fashion, jewellery, arts and crafts, and homemade food. The venue, ever a hub of multiculturalism, also offers a variety of related music events, such as a celebration of Martin Luther King's legacy through words and music on 13 October.
Towards the end of the month, a panel discussion at University College London’s Cruciform building looks at the racial inclusivity of of LGBT culture, while Classically British at The Tabernacle sees six classically trained dancers of ethnic origin express their cultures through dance.
Black History Month 2013 takes place across the UK in October. Many events are free but some are paid and others require prebooking.