This month we're observing Black History Month.
Having first began in 1987 in the UK, the month commemorates the contributions that Black people have made to our society and culture over the centuries.
For our first blog post on this month long event, we're looking at some of our favourite events you can join to celebrate Black History Month. From fashion, to food, poetry and music, there is something for everyone.
October 8th / Freemasons Hall
The largest annual African fashion event in Europe, Africa Fashion Week London, is back for its 5th year at the Freemason’s Hall.
Created by Ronke Ademiluyi to increase the visibility, awareness and sustainability of African and Black fashion brands through catwalk showcase, exhibition and education, African Fashion Week had been at the forefront of bringing awareness of Africa’s burgeoning fashion industry to the international market.
Since 2011, AFWL has hosted 10 catwalk events and contributed expertise to at least 10 more events produced by 3rd parties such as The Mayor of London’s Black History Month celebrations.
With a full day of catwalks presenting the work of designers from all over the continent, an exhibition marketplace, a food hall with a variety of African foods and panel talks from industry experts, this will be a major event for all of you fashion conscious folk!
October 22nd / Peckham Levels
Following a series of articles in the award winning Blackout Mixmag Editorial, Funk Butcher has curated an evening of fantastic DJs, Hosted at Peckham Levels, including our very own Launchpad alumni - Melle Brown - in a celebration of House music and its Black roots
So circle that Saturday in your calendar's and shuffle yourself onto the ginger line, all roads lead to SE15!
Saturday 15th / The Albany
Presented by Black Heroes Foundation and hosted at The Albany, The Story of Claudia Jones uses a mixture of storytelling, visuals and song, to tell the inspiring story of Claudia Jones, a journalist and political activist.
After being deported from the US for her involvement with the Communist Party, Jones settled in the UK, continuing her activism here with the British African-Caribbean Community at heart. In 1958, Jones founded the West Indian Gazette (WIG), the first British commercial Black newspaper. She was also known as the ‘mother of Caribbean Carnival in London’ and was instrumental in the establishment of Notting Hill Carnival. She passed in 1964 and was buried next to Karl Marx in Highgate Cemetery.
With an innovative blend of drama, song, photography, and film, the production seeks to empower and inform its audiences and increase wider public appreciation of Black history and culture, in particular the important role and influence on British culture that Claudia Jones has had. It is youth and community focused, and aims to encourage audiences of all social and cultural backgrounds.
The effects of her life work can still be felt today and this homage to her isn’t one to miss!
Various dates / Crossrail Place Roof
Canary Wharf have partnered with the collective SXWKS to turn the Crossrail Place Roof Garden into a Poet’s Corner.
With several performances planned over the month, these events will be free to attend and on a first come first serve basis. They have a range of talented poets performing pieces including Sarah Aluko, Young People’s Laureate Theresa Lola, writer and educator Roger Robinson, internationally acclaimed poet, playwright, performer and artist Inua Ellams and multidisciplinary artist Joladé Olusanya. In the style of Hyde Parks Poet Corner the performances will finish with members of the audience invited to come up on stage - and if you're brave enough - to perform their own poem, rap or story.
If you find yourself unable to attend, you will be able to print all the poems included in this project from their ‘Short Story Stations’ dotted around Canary Wharf.
Starting in October, and continuing through out the year, Haringey Council have put together a program of events with the aim of highlighting the significant contributions black people have made in Haringey, the UK and beyond.
They have an extensive and wide array of events taking place throughout October in a number of different venues, designed for a range of ages, including movie nights, arts and craft workshops, talks from young authors, readings, dance and fitness classes, comedy nights and more!