Pick of the Line, October 5 – 11 (Black History Month)

This week’s Pick of the Line is a Black History Month special. We’ve brought together a varied line up of the best events celebrating and adding to the rich history of black life in our boroughs, from historical tours to spoken word. Dig in!

Jackson – Live in Concert (Friday, October 5)

The Broadway Theatre, Catford, London, SE6 4RU

To coincide with Black History Month, the Broadway Theatre is staging the return of Amir Sharma’s portrayal of the late Michael Jackson in his prime. Joined by a cadre of dancers, singers and support musicians, Sharma’s set will be about the next best thing to actually dying and getting a private gig from the King of Pop in the afterlife. There are still some places available, so book fast if you want in.

Cost: £12/£18
Booking Information: http://broadwaytheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873481995/events

AFROVIBES Festival (Saturday and Sunday, October 7)

The Albany Centre and Theatre, Deptford

The last two nights of this contemporary theatre, dance and music festival. On Saturday, they’ll be showing And The Girls In Their Sunday Dresses, a play about two women meeting in a queue for rice – fresh down from the Edinburgh Fringe and described as “a female Waiting for Godot”. On Sunday the Sibikwa African Indigenous Orchestra plunge into “a lively exchange of rhythms and beats” with the audience. That’s a selection; click here to browse the full brochure.

Cost: Varies

Booking information:
Contact: Box Office
Tel: 020 8692 4446
Website: http://www.thealbany.org.uk

Guided History Walk (Saturday, October 6)

Hackney Town Hall to Dalston CLR James Library

This time-bending amble round Hackney’s historic streets will explore the history of African-Caribbean life in the borough, including ill-fated Grenadian prime minister Maurice Bishop, the heritage of Dalston, and, of course, the library’s namesake Councillor James (it’s actually Cyril Lionel Robert, famous historian of the Haitan Revolution, first black author to have a novel published in the UK).

Cost: Free

Booking information: contact the Hackney Leisure & Physical Activity Team on 020 8356 4897 / darren.english@hackney.gov.uk

Open The Gate Circus (Sunday, October 7)

Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, City of London, London, Greater London E1 6LA

Open the Gate, a hub organisation for art and culture to do with the African diaspora, is putting on a full day and night of events. In the afternoon is The African Market, an arts and crafts family fair; in the evening, Africa’s Cowfoot!!! (exclamation marks included) is a vibrant cabaret night of live music and traditional storytelling.

Cost: African Market: FREE, Africa’s Cow Foot: £10, £7 advance.

Time: ‘African Market’ 12pm – 7pm, ‘Africa’s Cows Foot’ 8pm.

More information:


Beyond a Boundary exhibition (all week)

C.L.R. James Library, Dalston Square, 60 Roseberry Place, Hackney, Greater London E8 3

Remember C.L.R. James? You should do – we only mentioned him a few paragraphs ago. Apart from being a famous Marxist historian and not a councillor of any kind, James also wrote ‘Beyond the Boundary’ – widely recognised as one of the best books ever written abut cricket. For James the game was pregnant with meaning – an entertainment and relic of empire that could also be a site for colonised nations to establish their independence and bolster national pride. This exhibition explores the involvement of black people in cricket in the East End.

During library open hours

Cost: free

More information: http://www.hackney.gov.uk/dalston-library.htm

Black Leadership and Democracy talk (Tuesday, October 9)

Hackney Central Library, Technology and Learning, Centre, 1 Reading Lane,, London E8 1GQ

Tony Warner, a management consultant specialising in diversity, leads this review of “charismatc and inspiring black leaders” across the world. The session will focus on those who were great but forgotten, rather than “the usual suspects” (King, Mandela, Obama and so forth).

Cost: free

6.00pm – 7.30pm

50 UP: Spoken Word and Open Mic with Inspired Word (Thursday, October 11)

Lewisham Library, 199-201 Lewisham High Street, Lewisham, London SE13 6LG

The Inspired Word is a Lewisham creative writing collective that will be presenting its own take on a spate of impending Caribbean independence. Expect rapid-fire spoken word and a chance to show off your own skills too.

Cost: Free

More Information: http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/inmyarea/events/diary/Pages/Event-detail.aspx?eventid=c35e8049-82e0-e111-ab8f-00155d0c2101&source=%2finmyarea%2farts%2fYour-local-arts%2fPages%2fLiterature-and-spoken-word.aspx

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