Written by Leah Sinclair

From events celebrating the impact and evolution of Black hair to how best to support Black female-owned businesses, these events mark the past, present and future of Black Britons and how to actively take part.

When you think of Black History Month, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

For some, it’s the prominent Black figures – from Mary Seacole to Martin Luther King – who’ve shaped and changed history. For others, it’s a reminder of the hardship and challenges Black people have and still continue to face.

It can also represent a space for awareness and education for those who aren’t aware of the role Black people have globally played in our society over the course of history – the list truly goes on.

But along with reflecting on the past, it is also a time to celebrate Black joy and look at our present to see how we can positively impact our future – particularly at a time when institutional racism continues to impact Black communities worldwide.

This is why the theme for Black History Month this year – Time for Change: Action Not Words – is even more significant when a desire to create actionable change is needed now more than ever.

And while Black History Month serves as a celebration of historic figures, it’s still important to address these inequalities and to drive for much-needed change – and there are a host of events taking place this month that both celebrate Black joy and educate the masses while acknowledging how we can work together to achieve shared goals of equality and equity.

From exhibitions to talks, screenings and festivals, these are some of the Black History Month events taking place this month that are worth attending.

  • Black Lives Matter Festival

    Taking place at Somerset House, Black Lives Matter Festival is an immersive celebration of Black contribution and the many stories it tells through a series of talks and workshops.

    The BLM Fest centres the voices of Black British creatives, activists, audiences and communities nationally and internationally, in a bid to amplify Black achievement and the vastness of the Black experiences, with engagements led and founded by Black people.

    When: 1–2 October and 22 October


  • Black History Bus Tour

    Take a journey through London on this three-hour bus drive showing the city’s top tourist attractions from an African/Caribbean perspective.

    The bus tour will cover a variety of time periods, from Black Tudors to Black-owned nightclubs, highlighting the impact Black communities have had on the capital through the centuries and continue to have to this day.

    When: 2 October


  • Say It Loud / Black Sun

    Ballet Black is celebrating its 20th anniversary in style by bringing two new works to the Royal Opera House. 

    Acclaimed South African choreographer Gregory Maqoma (Vuyani Dance Theatre) presents Black Sun, followed by Say It Loud from the founder and artistic director of Ballet Black, Cassa Pancho – an autobiographical work that charts the story of the pioneering company and its journey to becoming one of the British ballet industry’s best-known names. 

    When: 19 – 23 October


  • Grada Kilomba: O Barco / The Boat at Somerset House

    Highlighting forgotten stories and bringing to light experiences is at the height of this exhibition from Grada Kilomba.

    The striking 32-metre-long installation is composed of 140 wood blocks, the configuration of which outlines the lower ‘hold’ of a historical European slave ship. 

    The blocks contain poems in six different languages, intricately inscribed into their textured surfaces, which directly address the history of European maritime expansion and colonisation.

    When: 29 September – 20 October


  • Black History Month Lecture Series 2022 @ CSEP with Robin Walker

    Robin Walker, aka The Black History Man, will deliver a lecture on the origin and evolution of mathematics in Africa. From the African women in southern Africa who produced the first mathematical artefact in human history 37,000 years ago to the mathematical contributions of the ancient Egyptians, the Moors and more, this lecture will recount the fascinating story of African achievement and bring to light the stories that many don’t know. 

    When: 8 October 


  • Black Hair Stories by CURLYTREATS Festival

    To honour Black History Month, CURLYTREATS Festival will be hosting an event celebrating Black hair and the evolution of our cultural hairstyles,from the Motherland and beyond.

    This is the perfect place to see Black hair in all its glory and reflect on why it’s so much more than just hair – it’s a link to our history and a marker of our longstanding creativity.

    When: 15 October 


  • Black Women Business Talks

    The Black Women Business Talks will offer Black women a space to learn effective growth strategies for business development and career success.

    With talks and group discussions led by Black business women and senior leaders, this event will offer practical advice and insights on how to lead as a Black female in whatever industry you’re in.

    When: 18 October


  • Young, Gifted and Black at Theatre Peckham

    Returning for the third year, the festival features theatre, poetry and discussion, focusing on the nuances of the Black experience in the UK and highlighting stories around migration and belonging.

    When: 30 September – 6 November


  • Anne-Marie Imafidon: She’s in CTRL

    Countdown host and CEO of Stemettes, Anne-Marie Imafidon will take to the stage to discuss themes from her book, She’s in CTRL, including women, tech and daring to dream.

    Drawing on her own experience and the stories of other pioneers, the book reflects on how she and many others have transformed technology, and she’ll be sharing why it’s time for women to claim their seats at the table

    When: 23 October


Images: Getty

Source: Read Full Article