Celebrate Black History Month 2008

Local artists and cultural organisations come together in an exciting programme of events this October to celebrate Black History Month in Hackney.

Black History Month is a major annual event in Hackney’s calendar, a celebration of the contribution that the Black African and Caribbean communities have made both on a local level and across the globe.

This year s programme of over 30 events across a number of venues in the borough, including Hackney Museum, local libraries, Hackney Archives and others, is an inspiring mix of activities for all the family. It covers art, music, dance, film, theatre, literature, the spoken word and more all exploring the themes of black heritage, history and culture.

Hackney’s libraries will host a variety of interactive and exciting events, from African drumming, singing and dancing, fashion show and arts fair, to the Black History Kidz competition with actress, writer and producer Judd Batchelor and an inspirational talk by the author of ‘Dream and Achieve’ Kola Olutimehin.

This year the BHM celebrations also mark the 60th anniversary of the SS Windrush’s docking at Tilbury. Hackney Museum’s Living Under One Roof exhibition is a fascinating commemoration of the rich history of the borough’s Windrush Generation. The exhibition, in collaboration with Lorna Holder of Tuareg Productions, has displays, rooms and memories from the Caribbean generation who first came to Hackney.

Hackney s Cabinet Member for Community Services, Cllr Nargis Khan, said: "Black History Month is an important celebration of Hackney s diversity and vitality and this year there s something for everyone. We want people from every section of the local community to enjoy and engage in the month of events."

Other highlights throughout the month include Hackney Archive’s Community History Day, where local people are invited to find out about Hackney’s history and contribute to the Archive’s records. Acclaimed historian SI Martin presents a series of interactive talks at Hackney Caribbean Elderly Organisation. The Windrush theme continues at Hoxton Hall with a musical showcase by local young people aged 11-17 and Sutton House National Trust will explore the myths and legends from Africa and the Caribbean.

Hackney’s BHM celebrations will culminate with a Grand Finale in November. The Council’s Cultural Development Team, in partnership with community groups and organisations, is developing an exciting choir performance based on black gospel music in a spectacular finale. Watch this space for more information or to see how you can get involved.

A booklet highlighting the events taking place in Hackney is available from the borough’s libraries and museum. To check out events online, please visit: