Black History Month 2022

  • 25
  • Sep

Islington has had a rich and diverse Black community for decades, adding so much to our borough’s culture and heritage. A key part of making our borough a more equal place is recognising and celebrating our diverse communities’ history and traditions, and that is why Black History Month is so important.

Throughout October, Islington Council is putting on an exciting calendar of events to celebrate Black history and culture.

Black History Month Launch event, Saturday 1 October 1.30 – 4.30pm

Caxton House, 129 St John’s Way, London N19 3RQ 

We are excited to kick start Black History Month 2022 with a celebration event that will be held in person. Following two years of lock down restrictions we are delighted to finally be able to unite our community and spotlight some of our Black owned businesses as part of our Black History Month celebration. This event will provide entertainment, refreshments opportunities to buy from local Black owned businesses and will also showcase other events we have planned throughout the month.  Guest speakers invited to present at this event include: 

  • Sofia Strachan, CEO of Just As You Are, an organisation which empowers and educates young people  
  • Charisse Monero, Programme Director of Islington Council’s Black Men and Mental Health Programme 
  • Leon Robinson, Positive Steps  

The following Black owned businesses will have stalls at this event: 

  • New Beacon Book store  
  • ARTivities UK – Children of the Windrush Art Exhibition  
  • Lesley’s Sauces  
  • Naomi Wynter, Shea Love London  
  • Leon Robinson, Forget-Me-Not Project Exhibition 

Book your free place

Poetry and Spoken Word from Afrika and the Caribbean with the House of Amau, Saturday 1 October 2-4pm 

Central Library. 2 Fieldway Crescent N5 1PF 

A free participation Black Afrikan History featuring Afrikan Heritage writers reading and performing their work debut anthology ‘100 years – WW1 and the Afrikan diasporan woman. 

The event is free, and there is no need to book, just turn up.

Go Africa Festival of Arts4 October 10am-4pm, 5 October 10am-9pm

Go Africa Cultural Community Hub are delivering an exciting fun packed two-day festival of arts focused on ‘IDENTITY’ at Islington Town Hall. Showcasing and exhibiting artwork from hand painted flags, Tie-Dye, textiles, literature, African fashion photography, fashion displays, adornments and so much more, created by residents and other individuals who have participated in Go Africa’s creative workshops.  On both days you will be able to join indoor activities, educational talks with artists and participate in workshops.   

There will also be a VIP reception on 5 October to enjoy delicious African & Caribbean food, including vegetarian delights, & variety of beverages.   

Book 4 October event

Book 5 October event

Windrush Inspired Performance in Caledonian Park Amphitheatre, Saturday 8 October , 2-3pm

Caledonian Park, Market Road, London, N7 9PL. Meeting place is Cally Clock Tower at 1.45pm, for a prompt start at 2pm

This intergenerational event will celebrate journeys to Britain and the rich diversity of the local area. Stories from the Windrush generation and experiences of life in Islington will be gathered and edited by young people from Prospex Youth Centre. Actors will breathe life into these stories, creating monologues which will be performed in a promenade through the Amphitheatre of Caledonian Park. Artists from Age UK Islington will create a painted mural for the Amphitheatre, as backdrop inspired by ‘plants of the world’. Stories and images will be combined into a resource available to local schools. 

Book your free place

Apartheid and Me: Storytelling and drawing, Saturday 8 October 10.30am-12.30pm 

Central Library, 2 Fieldway Crescent, Islington N5 1PF 

Join author and storyteller, Monica Clarke, as she reads from her children’s book Apartheid and Me. You will be taken on a journey through the book’s pages and beyond and participate in drawing activities led by the book’s illustrator, Maureen Bocking.

Copies of the book will be given to attendees (1 per family group) at no cost to participants. Additional copies can be purchased. This event is primarily for families and carers with children aged 4-11.

Book your free place 

ChainGang Cyclists Community Rides, Saturday 8 15 October 9am-11am 

ChainGang Cyclists formed during the first lockdown in March 2020 by five friends from African and Caribbean heritage craving some much-needed headspace at a very unusual time. The idea has evolved into a club that has over 750 members and hosts five rides a week. ChainGang Cyclists have successfully formed a community partnership with one of the biggest brands in cycling and, for Black history month have agreed to work with Islington council to offer fitness and fun days out and about in the borough on bikes. Come and join ChainGang Cyclists and experience the benefits and freedom that comes from cycling. It works wonders for your mental wellbeing and overall health.  Adopt our Black history month motto “on your bike mate” and join us for some fitness and fun Islington style! 

Book your free place

Telling Tales with Sandra Agard, Wednesday 12 October and Friday 21 October 11am

Renowned poet and storyteller Sandra Agard takes over the regular under-fives storytelling time with an interactive storytelling session featuring stories from all over the World, with a focus on Africa and the Caribbean. The Wednesday 12 October  event takes place at Archway Library (Hamlyn House, Highgate Hill N19 5PH) and the Friday 21 October event takes place at Central Library (2 Fieldway Crescent N5 1PF). Both events start at 11am. 

The events are free, and there is no need to book, just turn up.

A meeting of the continents, Monday 17 October until Saturday 19 November 

Finsbury Library, 245 St John St, London, EC1V 4NB 

A display to mark the 40th anniversary of the International Book Fair of Radical Black and 3rd World Books which took place in Islington Town Hall in 1982 with photos and brochures from the George Padmore Institute archives. Just turn up during opening hours to see the display. 

In Conversation with Healthcare Professionals, Thursday 20 October 6-7.30pm 

We are hosting what will be an insightful in-conversation event with three local Islington healthcare professionals. Our inspiring panel of Black professionals will talk openly about their career journeys, sharing their challenges and achievements working in Public Health. The panel will also discuss health problems that typically affect the Black community and will advise on how to access early intervention.  Speakers for this event are:   

  • Tina Jegede MBE, MSc, PgDMS, RM, RGN, Queen’s Nurse  
  • Dr Sola Makinde, Consultant Anaesthetist and Associate Medical Director at Workforce  
  • Ntale Eastmond, Psychotherapeutic Counsellor  

This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about the healthcare profession and understand the contributions Black healthcare professionals have made to the UK and the Borough of Islington.

Book your free place

Lloyd Bradley in conversation with DJ Daddy Ernie, Thursday 20 October 6pm

Central Library. 2 Fieldway Crescent N5 1PF 

Join author Lloyd Bradley (Bass Culture: When Reggae Was King) in conversation with Superjam legend DJ Daddy Ernie about his life as a pirate radio and sound system DJ.  British music journalist and author Lloyd Bradley talks to Daddy Ernie about his life as a DJ. Daddy Ernie was involved with LWR, widely regarded as the UK’s first Black music station. Shortly after he had a brief stint with Time FM before hitting the big time with the first five-day-a-week reggae programme outside Jamaica. His show ‘Super Jam’ was born on Choice FM radio at the beginning of the 1990s. 

The event is free, just turn up as there is no need to book.

Style in my DNA – A process in archiving, Tuesday 25 October 6.15-7.15pm 

Finsbury Library. 245 St John Street, London, EC1V 4NB 

Join Lorna Holder for a talk about the importance of archives. 

Lorna Holder is a fashion designer, producer, writer and curator. She talks about the importance of archives and shares her experiences, collecting and using photographs for her book ‘Style in my DNA’ which launched at the Victoria and Albert Museum (the V&A) and documents 70 years of Caribbean influence on British fashion. It was during the late 1950s in Jamaica, at a very young age, when Lorna Holder first saw the importance of photography. Like many young children left behind in the Caribbean, while parents went to Britain to forge a better life for everyone, the exchange of photographs between Britain and Jamaica kept the family bonds. Lorna has over forty years of experience. The style of dress, lifestyle, social and political history captured in archive photographs and films inspired many of Lorna’s fashion collections and were dominant in her multimedia productions.  

Book your free place

Lunch and Learn: Cost of living and wellbeing, Wednesday 26 October 12noon-1:30pm 

Islington Town Hall, Committee room 5 and 6, Upper Street, N1 2UD 

Join Islington Council staff who are supporting residents to deal with the cost-of-living crisis as they explore the challenges residents are facing and sign post available support. This event will delve into the impact on health and mental health.  

Light refreshments will be provided alongside an arts and crafts table for guests attending with children.  

Book your free place

Black History Month family workshops at the Crafts Council Gallery, Thursday 27 October – Saturday 29 October, 1.30-3pm

Crafts Council Gallery, 44A Pentonville Road, London, N1 9BY 

Join artists Halina Edwards and Jahnavi Inniss in hands-on creative workshops at the Crafts Council Gallery on Pentonville Road, Angel. Learn a new craft skill and work with textiles to make your own masterpiece in celebration of Black History Month. 

Book your free place

The Black-Art Gallery Presents… 21 September – 19 November

Islington Local History Centre, 245 St John Street, EC1V 4NB (during centre opening hours)

An exhibition showcasing posters created by The Black-Art Gallery 1984-1988. The gallery was located at 225 Seven Sisters Road near Finsbury Park Station and was opened in 1983 by OBAALA (Organisation for Black Arts Advancement & Leisure Activities). Alongside showcasing exhibitions, it was a space for presentations of art and culture, including poetry, music, dance and drama from the African diaspora, until its closure in the early 1990s. 

The event is free, just turn up as there is no need to book.

Family Kitchen, Tuesday 27 September, 4, 11 and 18 October, 4 – 5.30pm

Hilldrop community centre, Hilldrop Road, N7 0JE 

Join us for a Black History Month Family Kitchen special.  Learn to cook African and Caribbean dishes.  This is a four week programme held at Hilldrop Community Centre. 

Book your free place

Islington Libraries booklists

For Black History Month, Islington Libraries have worked with partners at Gays the Word bookshop to create a selection of Black LGBT+ writing. This selection covers fiction, poetry, non-fiction and anthologies, reflecting the rich and vibrant Black LGBT+ community. The collection of books will be at Central Library, and the booklist available to pick up in all libraries. You can also view the list at If you cannot find a book on the list, you can request it free of charge using our reservation service – ask a member of staff for more details, or go online:

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