Deputy Mayor Anntoinette Bramble discusses what's on offer for young people this Black History Season


Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Education, Young People and Children’s Social Care, writes about what’s on offer for young people during this year’s Black History Season.

Hackney Black History Season is Hackney Council’s extended season of events marking national Black History Month and beyond, with the aim of making Black history more visible in Hackney and the UK. 

As Hackney Council’s Cabinet Member for young people I was excited to see that this year’s Black History Season programme has put young people at the heart of many of its events.

I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak with young people at Young Hackney’s Black History Season celebration. The event showcased a range of contributions from the black community, including a talk from international sprinter and two time national gold medalist Frederick Afrifa, and workshops in arts and crafts. I enjoyed taking part in the African drumming and jewellery-making workshops (pictured). 

It was also fantastic to see so many young people attend the Hackney Youth Parliament debate at Hackney Town Hall. We had an impressive turnout and it was inspirational to see passionate young voices discussing issues that matter to them. We listened intently and will take on board the advice and suggestions we received. A huge thank you to everyone involved and who helped organise this important event which provides a platform for young people to express themselves, have their ideas heard, and help shape policy affecting them.

This year’s Black History Season features an exciting collection of events from Hackney Libraries, Hackney Museum, Hackney Archives, Hackney’s Children and Education Services and Young Hackney, adding to the work they do all year-round to make Black history visible and accessible to younger residents. 

Following the successful Anti-Racist Praxis Conference in May, Hackney Children and Education Services have created a programme of Black History Season events to inspire staff to take anti-racist action and educate themselves about Black history. 

It was an honour to chair the Q&A and make the closing speech in the first of these, a Desert Island Discs evening (pictured) with guests Yolanda Lear, Professor Gus John, Rosemary Campbell Stephens MBE who shared music from their lives and reflected on their experiences of the education system in Hackney and the UK, as children, students and professionals. 

Hackney’s Children and Education services are also inviting Black and Global Majority students, residents and Council staff to share intergenerational stories of growing up, living or working in Hackney and are presenting these experiences as part of ‘Stories Untold: An intergenerational exhibition of stories about life in Hackney’ at the Tomlinson Centre until the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Hackney Libraries have curated a family-friendly programme with poetry readings, book clubs, reading lists, film screenings and history inspired craft sessions. A special programme of educational and interactive activities has also been organised in our youth hubs, sports hubs and adventure playgrounds, so young children in the borough can learn about Black history and the significance of the Black contribution nationally and internationally.

The season will end with an event featuring TV presenter Jay Blades sharing stories of growing up in Hackney with a youth panel at Hackney Archives.

All these events are free, although for some you will need to book your place, so take a look at the programme listing on Love Hackney.

I urge you all to check them out while you can and hope to see you there.

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble