In case you didn’t know, October is Black History Month, and whilst the achievements of people of colour should be celebrated throughout the year, there’s plenty of ways you can show your appreciation in October, from reading books written by Black Authors to supporting black-owned fashion brands. If you’re in London during October, there are plenty of events to commemorate the month for you to enjoy. Feeling inspired? You’re about to be even more so, because we’ve compiled a list of ten Black History Month events in London that are well worth a visit throughout the next four weeks across all corners of the city.
Black History Month Events in London
Black History River Cruise, October 23rd
Enjoy a three hour cruise trip across the river Thames between Temple and Greenwich. Not only will you take in the incredible views of the city, but the main event allows you to hear inspiring stories from Black resistance leaders Phyliss Wheatley, General Dumas, Queen-General Yaa Asantewa, Warrior Queen Amanirenas and Olaudah Equiano. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn about the significance of well-known buildings in the capital and their place in Black History, leaving the experience enriched with knowledge in the impact of Black people and the historical contributions they have made to the city.
‘Honour, Remember, Inspire’ Exhibition, throughout October
Zari Gallery, in the centre of London, will be featuring British and International Black artists the whole month of October. 17 artists will showcase their artwork crafted from ceramics, paintings, and prints for you to escape the capital’s craziness for a couple of hours and dive in the artists’ world.
James Barnor: Accra/London – A Retrospective
The incredible photo-journalist James Barnor will transport you to Ghana in the midst of the journey to its independence in the 1950’s, as well as London in the 1960’s. With black and white photographs alongside coloured imagery, embrace and enjoy the opportunity to see decades of his work, in which he tells the story of the people from two different continents over the years.
Cruise: The Windrush Stories
Don’t wait until October to educate yourself on Black History. You can visit the British Library throughout the year and read texts and literature which study the relationship between Britain and the Caribbean from 1948 – in particular during the Windrush period.
70 years ago the Empire Windrush moored at Tilbury Docks in Essex with hundreds of people from the Caribbean. Read all about it, from the perspectives of activists, artists and many more.
Theatre: Rockets and Blue Lights, Until October 9th
Showing at the National Theatre until October 9th (so you’ll have to be quick!), director Miranda Cromwell tells the story of the legacy of slavery in a hard-hitting, moving production that’s set over different periods of time.
Get a sweet treat at Dark Sugars
This one’s for the chocolate lovers, if you’re keen to support a Black-owned business, visit Dark Sugars in Brick Lane, East London, where Nyanga brings the culture of West African cocoa production to the British capital. Enjoy rich and delicious hot chocolates, truffles, vegan options and so much more from their shop, or you can have their goodies delivered.
For a healthy break: Get Juiced!
Get your five-a-day and visit Get Juiced! in Tooting. Leon Morant followed his passion for nutrition and quit his 9 to 5 job in IT to open his very own juice bar. Not only you can choose from more juices than you could ever imagine, but you can also try healthy savoury or sweet foods such as Acai bowls, gluten-free wraps or stews at this vegan cafe. Our mouths are already watering…
Enjoy music at Proud To Be, October 26th
Enjoy an entertaining and inspiring evening with live music, poetry and fashion from incredible Black artists like Eddie Capone, Deleelah or Nates Tapes at The New Cross Inn on the 26th of October. It’s the perfect opportunity to be inspired, entertained, and of course learn something.
Plus, 100% of the profits will go the the New Cross Arts and Culture Center. Great news, right?
Africa Pop-Up Market, October 8th
Join and support Black female entrepreneurs in Woolwich, South East London and shop for clothes, beauty products, accessories and so much more. You can eat, drink and listen to music, and there’s even a cake decoration workshop you can get involved with – frankly, we’re sold.
Black History Month film club, throughout October
Throughout October, The Halley in East London will screening four movies on a Tuesday or a Wednesday. On 5th October they’ll be showing Playing Away, the story of a cricket team from a tiny English village who invites a black cricket team from South London to a charity game, with interesting, hilarious results. On October 13th it’s Bullet Boy (2004), the story of an inner-city youth trying to turn his life around. Next, Babylon (1980), a portrait of racial tension and police brutality set in Brixton, London. Finally the infamous The Color Purple (1985), the story of a Black southern woman who is battling with her identity after years of harrowing abuse.