Hackney Council celebrates Black History Month

As part of Black History Month Hackney Council is celebrating Roots, Culture and Tradition by highlighting some of the cultural traditions that are rooted within families from Hackney’s Black community.

There is something for everyone including sessions featuring guest speakers, academics, music workshops, seminars, creative writing sessions and film screenings.

One of this year’s highlights is Our African Roots exhibition at Hackney Museum from Tuesday 11 October to Saturday 7 January 2012. The whole of humanity has its roots in the great continent of Africa. Civilisation began there. This exhibition at the council run Hackney Museum explores how Hackney s Africans, from youth to elders, keep and celebrate their own culture in the heart of our city. Their personal possessions and their stories, along with early maps from the Royal Geographic Society and African objects from the Horniman Museum, will reveal how important it is to retain one s own identity.

There will also be a wide range of events for children and young people and in addition schools will be hosting events throughout the month supported by The Learning Trust. Hackney Council is committed to organising events during Black History Month as there is demand from local communities, individuals and schools across the borough.

Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Cllr Jonathan McShane said: “Here in Hackney we celebrate Black culture and achievements all year round. Again we have orgnanised events throughout Black History Month as it gives us an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of our borough.”

Joy Francis, Executive Director, Words of Colour Productions said:
"Hackney s BHM never fails to surprise and delight. The original and topical events attract children, adults and families from all backgrounds. I don t expect this year to be any exception. The focus on the African continent and its widespread influence in the arts and culture is exciting.

Black History Month is an annual celebration of the contribution that Black African and Caribbean communities have made both locally and across the globe.

Most events are free and taking place at Hackney Museum and libraries until December 2010. Sometimes you may need to book in advance, so please keep an eye on the Council’s website for new additions and events.

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Black History Month events include:

Roots and Rhymes with Adisa
Wednesday 26 October, 2 - 4pm
Celebrate where you come from and what makes you unique. Give your ideas wings and set them free through poetry and song in this family activity. For information on Adisa visit:, no booking required. For families, all ages.

Music with Maddy
Every Tuesday and Friday, 10 - 11am and 11am - 12noon
Free music club for 0-4 year olds and their carers.
There is no need to book for these sessions but places are limited so arrive early to avoid disappointment.
Please note: all events are subject to change and you are advised to contact the venue before you attend any event.

For both events Contact or call 020 8356 2509.

Fashion’s Best Kept Secret – Black people, culture and the fashion industry
Thursday 27 October
6.15pm – 7.45pm
Views featured - whether about textiles, couture, stylists and designers – are very rarely from Black experts. Yet the influence of Black cultures and history is never far away from the catwalk or the latest trends such as ‘street wear’, ‘ethnic prints’ or ‘tribal styles’
Debate with an exciting panel including Brenda Emmanus (TBC), Arts, Culture and Entertainment Correspondent for BBC London News,
Zoe Whitley, Curator of Contemporary Programmes, Victoria and Albert Museum and 30-year fashion veteran Sharon Franklin who runs her own bespoke fashion company Henrietta Franklin.

Dalston C.L.R. James Library
Please book in advance by contacting the library.

‘Words ‘R’ Us’ – an interactive creative writing and storytelling workshop
Wednesday 26 October
2.00pm – 3.30pm
Age group: Age 7 – 11 years
Designed to discover the poet/performer within - Words ‘R’ Us will feature creative writing and world storytelling using words, books, drama, movement and vocal expression to write poetry, tell and act stories.

Hackney Central Library
Please book in advance by contacting the library

Interactive card making with Coco Palms*
Saturday 15 October
2.00pm – 3.30pm
Age group: All ages welcome, children aged 10 years and under must be accompanied by an adult
Come and learn how to make your own greeting cards using craft material from
Africa and the Caribbean
*Coco Palms will be at Shoreditch Library for 1.5 hours and will see people in groups as they arrive. Some waiting may necessary.

Shoreditch Library
No booking required

To celebrate Black History Month this October, Hackney Homes are giving residents the chance to win a meal for two at the acclaimed Shaka Zulu’s restaurant. To have a chance of winning, answer this question correctly ‘Who was the first black newsreader to appear on British TV?’ Send an email with the answer to or on a postcard to Communication Team, 1st Floor, Christopher Addison House, 72 Wilton Way, E8 1BJ.

This competition is only applicable to Hackney Homes tenants.