Black History Month events 2021

Friday, 8th October 2021 — By Angela Cobbinah

Black History Month logo


• James Barnor exhibition 
Until October 24, a major retrospective of the six-decade career of Ghanaian photographer James Barnor, comprising studio portraiture, fashion shoots and photojournalism. The Serpentine North Gallery, Hyde Park, W2 2AR. 020 7402 6075. Free but book timed slot in advance via
 Honour Remember Inspire
Until October 29, the Zari Gallery celebrates the work of selected British and international black artists. 10am-5pm. 73 Newman Street, W1T 3EJ. Free, no booking required. For more info call 020 7580 7759
• Some of Us Are Brave 
October 16-30, Caroline Chinakwe of Camden Black Creatives is among those featured in this exhibition celebrating often overlooked black women artists. Stratford Library, The Grove, London E15 1EL. Tel 0202 373 0826 for opening hours. Free but book via 
• We Were Here 
October 18-November 5. Organised as part of Camden Black History Season, this exhibition celebrates the lives of history-making black individuals over the centuries. Swiss Cottage Library, 88 Avenue Road, London NW3 3HA. For library opening times, tel 020 7974 4001

Talks and events 

Friday, October 8

• The Voices of Black Folk: In Unexpected Places 
Until October 9, drama bringing to life fascinating figures in history like Roman emperor Septimus Severus and 18th century French composer Joseph Bologne. 7.30-10.15pm. Theatre Peckham, 221 Havil Street, SE5 7SD. Ticket info, call box office on 020 7708 5401
• Proud To Be 
Launching Camden Black History season, broadcaster Eddie Nestor hosts an eclectic mix of performances, talks and panel discussion. Refreshments available. 6.30-10pm. Camden House, Lab Tech, Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AB. Free but book via


Saturday, October 9

• Walk in the footsteps of William Cuffay and Robert Wedderburn
Meet in Kennington Park to learn more about the Chartist leader who helped to organise a huge rally on Kennington Common in 1848, and the radical Methodist who preached in the park on the site of what is now St Mark’s Church. Free. Meet at 2pm outside Prince Consort Lodge, junction of Kennington Rd/Kennington Park Rd, SE11 4BE. Organised by Friends of Kennington Park
• Black statues around Westminster 
Join Avril Nanton to see the different statues and monuments representing black Londoners through the ages. 11am-1pm. Meet 15 minutes before start time at Embankment station (Embankment Pier Exit), WC2N 6NS. From £3. For more info, tel 07984 759 506. Book via


Sunday, October 10

• Westminster tour 
Learn about the black Georgians, anti-slavery campaigners and political trailblazers who lived and worked in the heart of London, including Crimea War nurse Mary Seacole. Her statue in the grounds of St Thomas’s Hospital (The Queen’s Walk, Westminster Bridge, SE1 7GA), marks the starting point of this Love London Tour. 2-4pm. £12. Book via
• Paul Crooks genealogy
In this online talk, ancestry expert Paul Crooks draws on his own personal case study to demonstrate how you can trace your forebears using public records. 6.30-8.30pm. Free but book via


Tuesday, October 12

• The Louder I Will Sing 
In 1985 when he was 11, Lee Lawrence’s mother Cherry Groce was shot and paralysed by police during a mistaken raid on her Brixton home, sparking two days of rioting. In his book, he looks back at the traumatic event and its aftermath, which led him to embark on a campaign to get the police to recognise their wrongdoing. Join him at 7pm for a discussion at Carnegie Library, 192 Herne Hill Rd, SE24 0AG (020 77926 6050). Free but book via


Wednesday, October 13

• Black entrepreneurs 
Organised as part of Camden Black History Season, this online panel discussion hosted by Black Pound Day founder Swiss from So Solid Crew will point those interested in starting up their own business in the right direction. Also includes Samira Gomes, founder of EMMSTech, which supports women of colour in the nordic tech industry, and Camden market trader Troy Baptiste. 6pm-8pm. Free but book via 
• The Girl with the Louding Voice
Join Abi Daré in an online event to discuss her best-selling novel about a Nigerian teenager whose life takes a turn for the worse when she is sold off to become the third wife of an old man. With the help of her “louding voice”, she manages to triumph over her misfortune. Organised by Lambeth Libraries. 7-8pm. Free but book via


Thursday, October 14

• Nike ‘Adire Queen’: The power of African art 
In this online event organised by City of Westminster Libraries and Archives, Kofo Adeleke discusses his biography of legendary Nigerian batik and adire textile designer Nike Davies-Okundaye. 6:30-7.30pm. Free but book via
• In conversation with two black police officers
In this online event, Superintendent Dominic Barnes and Chief Inspector Vincent Peters of Camden and Islington Police share the challenges of their job as well as why they wanted to join the police force. 6-7.30pm. Free but book via 
• Q&A: Lloyd Bradley and Denis Bovell
An opportunity to quiz Dennis Bovell, record producer and founder of 80s reggae band Matumbi, and journalist Lloyd Bradley, author of Bass Culture: When Reggae Was King, at the Central Library, 2 Fieldway Crescent, N5 1PF (020 7527 6900). 6.30-7.30pm. Free but book via


Friday, October 15

• The Black History Truth: Argentina 
Join traveller and author Pamela Gayle in a discussion about her book, which seeks to uncover Argentina’s hidden black history. 2-4pm. Woolwich Centre Library, 35 Wellington Street, SE18 6HQ. 0208 921 5750. Free but book via


Wednesday October 20

 Black London: History, Art and Culture in over 120 Places
Meet authors Avril Nanton and Jody Burton for their talk about this London tour guide with a difference. 6.30pm entry, 7-9pm. St Pancras Library, 5 St Pancras Square, N1C 4AG. Free but book via
 In Conversation with Stella Dadzie and Helen Bart
Online event with the author of A Kick in the Belly: Women, Slavery and Resistance and the producer of the BBC documentary Uprising. 7.30-8.45pm. For more info: Or email, 0208 489 4250
• The Voices of Black Folk: In Unexpected Places
Until October 21, drama bringing to life fascinating figures in history like Roman emperor Septimus Severus and 18th century French composer Joseph Bologne. 7.30-10.15pm. Millfield Theatre, Silver Street, Edmonton, N18 1PJ. Ticket info, call box office on 0208 807 6680


Thursday October 21

• Colin Grant
Camden Black History Season event. Join the author of Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey for a discussion about the influential Jamaican political activist who inspired a global mass movement. 5-7pm. Swiss Cottage Library, 88 Avenue Road, NW3 3HA. Free but book via
• Culture and myth in young adult fantasy novels 
Best-selling authors Yaba Badoe (Wolf Light, Lionheart Girl) and Reni K Amayo (Daughters of Niri, Descendants of the First) discuss their work against the backdrop of the recent popularity of fantasy novels written for teens by black authors. Online event organised by Lambeth Libraries. 7-8pm. Free but book via
• Just Mercy 
Screening of inspirational 2019 docudrama about civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson who defends a man sentenced to death despite evidence proving his innocence. Rated PG. 4-6.30pm. Wood Green Library, Business Lounge, Ground Floor, High Road, N22 6XD. Free, no booking necessary
White Noise
October 21-November 13, UK premier of Pulitzer Prize-winning Suzan-Lori Parks’ play about four liberal friends – two white, two black – whose friendship is shaken by an incident of police brutality. Bridge Theatre, 3 Potters Fields Park, SE1 2SG. Tickets: £15, £25, £35, £45, £55. To book,
• The Voices of Black Folk: In Unexpected Places (see October 20 for details)


Friday October 22

• Honouring Unsung Black Heroes 
In this evening extravanganza, Camden Black Workers Group celebrate figures from the past and present who have made a difference. Includes justice campaigner Neville Lawrence, lovers rock singer Sandra Cross, comedian Mr Cee, and former Camden Council official Kunle Olulode, director of Voice4Change England. 6.30-10.30pm. London Irish Centre, 50-52 Camden Square, NW1 9XB. Free but book via
Royal Opera House
Until October 24, chamber opera The Knife of Dawn will be streamed on the ROH’s YouTube channel, telling the story of Guyanese independence fighter and poet Martin Carter who went on hunger strike in 1953 while in prison for insurgency. from 7pm start. More info,


Saturday October 23

In Conversation: Being African in Hackney
Workshop hosted by Benjamina Efua Dadzie held in conjunction with ongoing exhibition at Hackney Museum, Being African in Hackney, telling the stories of people living, working, studying and growing up in Hackney, from the 1960s to today. Workshop: 11am-12.30pm/2.30-4pm. Free but book via  Exhibition runs until January 16, Hackney Museum, 1 Reading Lane, E8 1GQ. For opening times and info on more workshops,
• Royal Opera House: The Knife of Dawn  (see October 22 for details)


Sunday October 24

Sam Sharpe and the slaves who abolished slavery
In this online talk organised as part of Haringey Black History Month, historian Paul Crooks shows how the 1831 rebellion in Jamaica led by Sam Sharpe helped to end slavery. 7-8pm. £6 via
• Royal Opera House: The Knife of Dawn  (see October 22 for details)



Monday October 25

Jamaica’s Akan Maroon War
In this online talk organised as part of Haringey Black History Month, historian Paul Crooks examines the resistance of the Maroons against British enslavers during the 18th century. 6.30-8pm. £6 via


Tuesday October 26-October 31

A Time To Breathe
Until October 31, a festival of talks, music, poetry and performance curated and co-produced by Greta Mendez. The Theatre (formerly the Stockwell Playhouse), 208 Wandsworth Road, SW8 2JU. For tickets and times,


Thursday October 28

How We Love
Drama about Regi and Babs, gay friends in London who plan to enter into a marriage of convenience as discrimination against homosexuality mounts back home in Nigeria. 7-8.45pm. Theatre Peckham, 221 Havil Street, SE5 7SD. Tickets, £15, £12 concs, £10 “Peckham Local”. More info, call box office on 020 7708 5401


Saturday October 30

Coming Together, Growing Together
In response to Nicola Abram’s groundbreaking book, Black British Women’s Theatre – Intersectionality, Archives, Aesthetics, an evening of film, conversation and theatre around the work of the all-female Munirah Theatre Company. 7-9pm. Clapham Library, 91 Clapham High Street, SW4 7DB. Organised by Lambeth Libraries. Free but book via


Sunday October 31

British Empire Tour
A 2km walk around Westminster, once the beating heart of empire, starting in Parliament Square. Meet at Churchill’s statue. Organised by Manasi of History Speak. 11am-1pm. £12, children free. Book via

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