Wandsworth celebrates Black History Month

Published: Thursday, October 1, 2020

October marks Black History Month and Wandsworth Council is proud to take part in this annual celebration through an extensive programme of online events and activities, to recognise the outstanding contribution black people have made in shaping our borough.

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Throughout the month, our libraries will be hosting a range of events online celebrating African and Caribbean cultures and histories for all families and children to enjoy. Our Arts Service will also be featuring events, and an array of sessions will also be taking place in our Children’s centres, including cooking sessions, book readings and TV and film viewings.

Alongside this, we will be spotlighting and sharing the experiences of black members of our community. All videos will be streamed through our YouTube channel

Across our libraries there will be over 20 events, including talks lectures workshops and exhibitions.

The highlights of the month’s celebrations include:

  • Celebrating John Archer (1863 – 1932) the British politician and political activist. In 1913 he was elected Mayor of Battersea, becoming the first black mayor in London. He was a notable Pan-Africanist and the founding president of the African Progress Union.
  • Black entertainers on the Victorian stage: In the 19th century an astonishing number of black entertainers appeared on stage, in concert halls, in churches and in music halls over Britain. They included actors, singers, circus performers
  • Exploring the legacies: History consultant Kwaku will through the use of his ‘What They Said I Should Be: The Story of African British Female Movers & Shakers' DVD and other film footage highlight the work of a number of women, and give the audience an opportunity to explore their legacies.
  • Black women entrepreneurs and turning your passion into your business: The talk will explore examples of black entrepreneurs across the diaspora, including Madam C J Walker and their motivations for creating the products or services they did and the impact this made on their respective societies.
  • Head wrap styles: Learn about African textiles and various head wrap styles with fashion designer and textile artist, Sylvia Emodi.
  • Black Excellence Book Talk: Black Lives Matter – and Black stories matter too. Find your new favourite book from the library today, and explore Black Excellence and Black Joy in all its formats.
  • Jazz music story time: Explore the history of jazz and Black jazz artists in this musical story time with Patrick.

More events will be added throughout the month, so please do keep an eye out on our web page.

Some of the black members of our community we will be spotlighting include:

  • Marlene Price (Vice-Chairwoman of the Borough Residents Forum)
  • Tanya Matthews (Black Minds Matter)
  • Felicia Mattis Rome (Deputy CEO of Youth Enterprise Charity, Business Launchpad)
  • Obed Yeboah (Videographer and founder of Tech Company, Shapeways)
  • Renata Joseph (Headteacher of Saint Cecilia’s Church of England School)

Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, said: “Black History Month is an exceptional opportunity for everyone to learn about the history of black people who have made an impact in not only our borough but across the nation.

“We will be showcasing the work of pioneering black people both in the community and in business who are making a huge contribution both to the diversity and vitality of this borough.

“There are a number of events taking place right across the borough during the month both online and at our libraries, I encourage you to participate in these to be inspired and to also learn about the experiences of Black people who live, work and study in our borough.

“As a borough we have welcomed communities we now want to celebrate those communities.

“I hope you will join us in celebrating the commitment black people have made in shaping our borough.”

For full details of the month’s events including dates and times are available online.