The Metropolist Recommends - - by Rachel Holmes

Black History Month: A – Z

Black History Month: A – Z

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.


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[IMAGE: Hackney Council] Strike A Pose exhibition

Strike A Pose – Portraits from Gibson’s Photo Studio

 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.

Making Freedom

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.

Re-Imagine: Black Women in Britain

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.

Guided Tours

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[IMAGE: Rich Mix] Guided Walk: The Black Presence In The East London

Black History Re-enactment Walk

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.

Social Justice Talks with Black History Walks

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.

The Black Presence In The East London

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.


bhm_black_rgb_3-1 Black History Month: A - Z

[IMAGE: UCLU] Black History Month

The Rise and Fall of Black Wall Street

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.

Mbunda Africa

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!

Sugar in the Blood: A family’s story of slavery and Empire

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.

 Spoken Word

Black-History-Month-web-ban-1 Black History Month: A - Z

[IMAGE: Hackney Council] Black History Month

Yoruba tales with Olabade Ogunlana

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.

Maya Angelou: A Celebration

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.

Memories of Mermaids

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

rachel-main Black History Month: A - Z

[IMAGE: Finborough Theatre] Rachel

The Scottsboro Boys

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.

Freedom of Movement

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.


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