Memories, people, places, events: Black History Month is about preserving black heritage, local history and promoting new artists in the local communities.
To celebrate the special occasion, the boroughs along the East London Line are hosting an extensive range of events for all ages, to inform and entertain.
Black History Month invites people to reflect on the contribution of other cultural traditions and backgrounds in the diverse East London community.
During the month each borough encourages the community to get involved and discover new African and Caribbean art, through exhibitions such as “Black History” at the Community House or the “London, Sugar and Slavery’ show, both in Tower Hamlets.
Another exhibition is “Silent witnesses” by Claudette McKenzie-Bassant showcased from the 25th of October to the 7th of November at Lewisham Art House. The artist brings together discarded objects which she has found, setting up an “uneasy dynamic between appearance and meaning, particularly topical at this time in our history.”
One of the main events in Tower Hamlets is the Black History Month Launch Day, taking place at Rich Mix on the 29th and 30th of October, from 12 noon until midnight. The event plays host to live music, dance performances, storytelling and craft workshops.
For the music lovers along the line, the Fairfield Halls in Croydon showcases “J. A. Story”, a musical based on the historical background of Jamaica. The show tells the story of people from Spain, Africa, England, India, China and the Middle East who have migrated to Jamaica. The musical involves original songs alongside traditional and contemporary dances.
Music is also available in Lewisham. The borough presenting the ‘Rhythm Feast’ , an evening concert with Indian fusion music hosted by the Indian Percussive Art Centre at, 4A Clarendon Rise SE13 5ES on the 24th of October.
There is something for all the family over Black History Month, with a busy programme scheduled for Lewisham with workshops for children, where they can learn to make jewellery, carnival hats, animal masks, as well as taking part in African painting.
For a taste of other cultures, Croydon offers a generous free food tasting of exotic fruits from the Caribbean at Ashburton Library, Shirley Rd, CR9 7AL on the afternoon of the 21st of October.