Black History Month celebrations in Wandsworth

Published: Friday, September 27, 2019

October is Black History Month – and the council is marking this annual commemoration of the history, achievements and contributions of black people in the UK with a series of events.

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Throughout the month, libraries in Wandsworth will be staging a comprehensive programme of events celebrating African and Caribbean cultures and histories. This video shows an event from last year's celebrations 

This year's events will begin on Saturday October 5 and conclude on Tuesday, October 29. There will be more than 20 individual events aimed at people of all ages.

They will include, talks, lectures and workshops as well as exhibitions. Among the highlights of the month’s celebrations are:

  • 1925 Coloured Alien Seamen Order - This talk by Iqbal Singh of the National Archives examines the racially discriminatory 1925 Coloured Alien Seamen’s Order. The order classified colonial workers as ‘aliens’ if they were unable to prove their status as British. Using brief case studies, the talk will bring to life some of the stories of those affected.
  • Tracing Your African-Caribbean Ancestors – While it’s often assumed impossible to research black ancestors in the Caribbean, there are many records in Britain and increasingly on the internet that can enable people to trace their family history there. Dr Kathleen Chater will show how it can be done.
  • Black Entrepreneurs in History – This talk by Loretta Awuah will explore black entrepreneurs across the diaspora, and their motivations for creating the products or services they did and the impact this made on their respective societies.
  • Africa and the Caribbean Through a Lens – Exhibiting a series of historic images from The National Archives collection showing places and people of London.
  • Arriving on the Windrush: and what the newcomers did next - That iconic journey of 1948 has resulted in a cultural contribution that continues to impact on contemporary British society. Avril Horsford talks about the twists and turns of their journey and some of the individuals on board. Find out how the new arrivals settled into their new, and sometimes hostile environment and the shared impact each culture had on one another.
  • The History of Black History Month in Britain - An audio-visual assisted presentation will provide the story of how it came into being in Britain, with contributions by some of the people who were at the forefront of its introduction.
  • Meet Author Alex Wheatle MBE - Alex will be talking about his latest book Home Girl which is part of his Crongton series. It features Naomi, a teenage girl growing up fast in the UK care system. It is a wholly modern narrative which sheds light on what can be an unsettling life – and the consequences of treating young people like pawns on a family chessboard.
  • Black Victorians: Multi-cultural Lives in 19th Century London - Focusing on the historical and cultural geographies of the black presence in Britain (particularly London), the talk will also include Victorian theories of race and anti-racism and the links between contemporary identity and the diverse histories of London. Delivered by Dr Caroline Bressey, lecturer in human geography, founder of the Equiano Centre to support research into the Black Presence in Britain and a former winner of a Philip Leverhulme Prize.
  • Tiger Hunt - An event for children with author Barbara Ellis A retired teacher, trainer, organiser and author of Tiger Hunt, she is the author of several books on education and Black history, alongside writing stories for children.
  • African Folk Tales Using Puppets and Shadow Play - A partly interactive session with Delvene from Littlecrowns Storyhouse
  • African Headwrap Workshop - The richness of African textiles, the variety of materials, the combination of colours and its use as an expression of rituals, communication and art is something that is conventional as well as contemporary. Learn about African textiles with fashion designer and textile artist Sylvia Emodi.

Full details of the month’s events including dates, times and venues are available online.