It’s suddenly October. While that may mean your life is slipping away before your very eyes it also means another Black History Month! With so many incredible events happening across the country make sure you keep in the loop. We could just about manage to short list London’s jam pack agenda.
[IMAGE: Hackney Council] Strike A Pose exhibition
From 1st October at Hackney Museum
Based on photographs taken mainly during the 1970s at Gibson’s photo studio on Lower Clapton Road, Strike a Pose presents snapshots into our shared histories and the everyday lives of Hackney’s past residents. Expect footage of Town Hall weddings from recently arrived African, Asian and Carribean families, studio portraits of nurses from the Caribbean, Asian women wearing their best salwar kameez and saris, family portraits at home, university graduations and all the fashion and styles of the decade.
Until 19th October at Downham Library
Drawing from significant national collections to record stories from those who resisted and fought enslavement, visitors will be taken on a journey up to and beyond 1838 when nearly one million Africans were freed from enslavement.
Until 30th November 2014 at Black Cultural Archives
Rewind all the way back to the construction of Hadrian’s Wall and you find traces of the black women who have helped construct the Britain we know today. Re-Imagine brings together their imprints from archives, libraries and museums across the UK for the first time. Re-imagine these courageous women and their eclectic roles over time.
[IMAGE: Rich Mix] Guided Walk: The Black Presence In The East London
12th October around Borough & Bankside
Spanning over 400 years of local history, this re-enactment walk introduces known and unknown characters who lived and worked in Southwark, often in their own words.
18th October at Voluntary Action Islington
Listed in the top ten best guided walks in London, Black History Walks offers invaluable insight into London and the stories that we aren’t told. Join them for Social justice Talks covering 400 years of international resistance to racism in Southern Africa and the black heroines forgotten in history.
22nd October around East London
Discover 400 years of Black history from Stepney Green to Whitechapel. Conducted by Patrick Vernon from Every Generation (leading social enterprise on family genealogy and the founder of 100 Great Black Britons) and John Eversley, member of Shared History and local social historian.
[IMAGE: UCLU] Black History Month
6th October at UCLU
Join University College of London Union for a fascinating discussion on the advent of ‘Negro Wall Street’ in early 20s Oklahoma. Boasting a black hospital, black public library, 2 black public schools, 2 black newspapers, theatres, hotels, churches, restaurants, business and more – find out what happened to Tulsa’s Black Wall Street.
10th October at Palmers Green Community House
Less of a lecture but equally as educational, a band will demonstrate how African people communicated among themselves and to their ancestors using instruments. Displaying traditional clothes with African storytelling, history doesn’t always have to be such a snooze!
29th October at Canada Water Library
With her third book, writer Andrea Stuart traces her family back to 1630 during their involvement in the sugar trade. Telling a story of insatiable greed and forbidden love, of abuse and liberation, join Andrea for a question and answer session at Canada Water Library.
[IMAGE: Hackney Council] Black History Month
3rd October at Homerton Library
Listen with Olabade Ogunlana as she shares Yoruba folklore from an oral tradition stretching back centuries. Transmitting age old cultures and histories these stories are a treasure chest of knowledge, but are being lost both to Yoruba speakers and world heritage. Rekindle the magic at Homerton Library this 3rd October.
5th October at Royal Festival Hall
Celebrating the life of one of the world’s most important writers and activists, this special evening of spoken word sees readings from her soul shaking autobiographies, gospel and music. With contributions from Adjoa Andoh, Angel Coulby, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicola Hughes, Ella Odedina, NITROvox, Roderick Williams and Ayanna Witter-Johnson expect to be immersed in the wisdom of a woman who rose from poverty, violence and racism to poetry and activism.
31st October at The Bernie Grants Arts Centre
Employing the extended metaphor of the mermaid, Kerri McLean explores her mixed race heritage in her new one-woman show. Influenced by Caribbean folk talks and the reappearance of the mermaid in mythologies across the world, expect a boundary blending storytelling experience with fresh audio-visuals and dark humour.
Theatre & Performance
[IMAGE: Finborough Theatre] Rachel
From 4th Ocotber at Garrick Theatre
Following its sold out run at the Young Vic, critically acclaimed The Scottsboro Boys transfers to the West End for a 20 week run from 4th October. Bringing to life the history making trial of nine black teenage boys falsely accused of rape, this sensational musical promises to be as theatrical and fun as it is chilling.
Until 25th October at Finborough Theatre
Directed by exciting young director Ola Ince as part of Black History Month, Rachel marks the first play by an African American woman to ever be produced professionally. Rediscovered by Finborough Theatre Artistic Director Neil McPherson, this lost landmark of American theatre depicts the trials of a young, educated woman born into an African-American family in the early 20th century world of ignorance and racial violence.
26th October at Millfield Theatre
Created by Enfield based dancer choreographer, Loren Whyte presents cutting edge new work representing the diversity of Black British Dance. High quality dance productions fuse street and contemporary dance styles for an evening of energy and freedom of movement.