Black History Month

  • 23
  • Oct

October welcomes Black History Month, an annual commemoration of the history, achievements and contributions of black people in the UK. From educational talks to fashion shows, the month is packed with events celebrating African and Caribbean cultures and histories.

Scroll down to find out what’s happening near you, or pick up a book from Islington Libraries’ new booklist celebrating British authors of black heritage. The list includes books for all ages from picture books for younger children to hard-hitting novels for teens.

Libraries events

Afrikan Heritage Writers present ‘100 Years Unheard – WW1 and the Afrikan Diasporan Woman’
The book celebrates the lives and unheard stories of Afrikan heritage women impacted by the Great War and gives voice to those history has forgotten.
Central Library, N5 1PF, Saturday 12 October, 1-5pm 

Under 5s storytelling
The Keskidee Centre in Gifford Street was Britain’s first arts centre for the black community. Hear some special storytelling celebrating its history.
Islington Museum, EC1V 4NB, Tuesday 15 October, 10am and 10.45am

An evening with Paul Crooks
Trailblazing family historian Paul Crooks, author of Ancestors, traced his family back six generations. Paul’s acclaimed novel and appearance on Who Do You Think You Are? inspired a generation to start exploring black and British ancestry. Paul talks about his book and his journey to find his family history.
Central Library, N5 1PF, Thursday 17 October, 6-7.30pm

Unseen Scientists by Linnean Learning
Join this exciting printmaking workshop and discover a range of natural historians past and present, with emphasis on BAME pioneers in the life sciences. Finished entries will be submitted to the Linnean Society’s BioMedia Meltdown competition, with a chance to win prizes for artistic and scientific merit! For ages 7-12. 
Central Library, N5 1PFMonday 21 October, 11am-12.30pm
Lewis Carroll Library, N1 0STMonday 21 October, 2.30-4pm 

African Style Head Dress
Create your own crown for Black History Month. For ages 4+.
Cat and Mouse Library, N7 0JN, Tuesday 22 October, 2.30pm-4pm

Hair, It’s a Family Affair! 
Join award-winning author Mylo Freeman who will be reading from her picture book which celebrates afro hair and getting children involved in an illustration workshop. For ages 3-7.
South Library, N1 2SL, Wednesday 23 October, 11am-12noon
Archway Library, N19 5PH, Wednesday 23 October, 2-3pm 

Abstract art workshop
Create your own Frank Bowling-inspired modern abstract art work. For ages 4+
Archway Library, N19 5PH, Friday 25 October, 2.30pm

Under 5s messy play
Get creative at this messy play session to celebrate the Keskidee Centre’s history.
Islington Museum, EC1V 4NB, Thursday 31 October, 10am

Community events

400 years of black women resistance leaders – THIS HAS BEEN CANCELLED, APOLOGIES FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE
A seminar detailing the black women around the world who have made pivotal contributions towards the fight for freedom and equality.
Tuesday 8 October, 6.30 – 9pm
Islington Town Hall, N1 2UD
Email to book.

Self-care as an act of warfare: a black women’s reading group
Black feminist book club offers a radical perspective on resistance, resilience and perseverance.
Thursday 17 October, 7-9pm
Housmans Radical Booksellers, 25 Caledonian Rd, N1 9DX
If you would like to attend, email

Black history education – a practice of freedom
Celebrate black-led interventions that are decolonising history curriculums and challenging the racial bias.
Tuesday 22 October 6-9pm
Brickworks Community Centre, 42 Crouch Hill, N4 4BY
For further information email

Our stories; reminiscence and history-making
A fun workshop for African and Caribbean people aged over 55. Bring along family photographs for a morning of sharing and storytelling and creating black history family archives.
Wednesday 23 October, 11am-12noon
Drovers Centre, 19 North Road, N7 9EY
If you would like to attend email or call 020 7607 7701

Black history of Islington walk
A two-hour walking tour through some of Islington’s little-known landmarks and places of significance. Find out about the first Black cultural arts centre, the history of the ANC, Islington’s Egyptian links and the legacies of Black revolutionary politicians and activists, such as Claudia Jones and Angela Davies.
Saturday 26 October, 10.45am-1pm
Meet outside Angel Station (or inside if it’s raining)
A suggested £3 donation to attend but spaces are limited. Email to book.

Kimbanguism – a universal heritage
Discover more about the ideology and vision of Simon Kimbangu, a peaceful freedom fighter in the Congo during the colonial era. There will be a choir, play and a brass band to enjoy.
Saturday 26 October, 4-9pm
Manor Gardens, N7 6ER
To book, email or call 07438 637065

African drumming
Holly Park Methodist Church and KeKeLi Dance Ensemble present an evening of entertainment for all the family with African drumming, a quiz and dancing, plus a book stand, fashion show and food.
Saturday 26 October, 4-9pm
Holly Park Methodist Church Hall, Crouch Hill, N4 4BY
Email for more information

Fashion4Africa showcase
A showcase celebrating African fashion and beauty, with catwalk shows, competitions and live entertainment including artists from Ethiopia, Sudan and Ghana.
Saturday 26 October, 5.30-10.30pm
Gracepoint, 161-169 Essex Road, N1 2SN
Tickets from £11.37
For further information contact

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