Hackney Museum celebrates borough’s African heritage communities with exhibition and events

Being African In Hackney

Hackney Museum is inviting residents to share stories of being African in Hackney, and help shape how African heritage in the borough is discussed and understood, in an exhibition and through a series of free online events.

The ‘In Conversation’ workshops, led by writer, researcher and ‘African Object Lessons’ podcaster, Benjamina Efua Dadzie, are part of ‘Being African in Hackney: 1960s-2020s’, a new temporary exhibition at Hackney Museum telling the stories of people moving to, living, working, studying and growing up in Hackney, from the 1960s to today. The exhibition is open until 15 January 2022.

This theme continues on 18 November with a talk by Professor Hakim Adi, the first historian of African heritage to become a professor of history in Britain. Professor Adi, Professor of the History of Africa and the African Diaspora at the University of Chichester, will explore how Africans have often been hidden in ‘Black British' history.

Also as part of their season, a specially-made film 'Being African in Hackney' has been delivered by acclaimed poet Theresa Lola, in collaboration with Hackney Museum staff. It is adapted from workshops that Theresa co-wrote for Hackney Museum and is available as a free learning resource to be used in all schools. 

Hackney Museum holds free exhibitions and live and online events throughout the year allowing residents and visitors to explore Hackney's fascinating past and present. The borough’s tradition of welcoming newcomers means that its changing history encompasses the world-wide roots of many communities, revealed through the Museum’s wide collection of interviews, objects and images.

Notes for editors

Being African in Hackney: 1960s-2020s is a new temporary exhibition which tells the stories of people moving and living, working, studying and growing up in Hackney, from the 1960s to today. The exhibition is open until 15 January 2022. For more information on the exhibition, to book events and view opening times visit: https://hackney-museum.hackney.gov.uk/exhibitions/

Follow Hackney Museum on social media: Twitter: @HackneyMuseum, Instagram: @HackneyMuseum, Facebook: facebook.com/HackneyMuseum 

Access Theresa Lola's 'Being African in Hackney' short film for schools by filling out a request form available here.

Hackney Black History Season - Hackney Black History In The Making - which lasts until December 2021, marks national Black History Month with an extended programme of events to further uplift the work of Hackney Council teams and the local community who acknowledge Black history 365 days a year. www.lovehackney.uk/black-history-season

Follow Hackney Black History on Facebook www.facebook.com/HackneyBlackHistory and Instagram

Benjamina Efua Dadzie is a writer and researcher, with interest in West African cultures, especially Akan and Yoruba, and the history and making of the African diaspora. In her work she explores agency, representation and self-determination. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Archaeology from the University of Manchester, and a Master’s in the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas from the University of East Anglia. Benjamina hosts the podcast https://africanobjectlessons.org/  

Professor Hakim Adi, BA Hons., PhD (London): Professor of the History of Africa and the African Diaspora at the University of Chichester, is a British historian and scholar who specializes in African affairs. He has written widely on Pan-Africanism and the modern political history of Africa and the Africa diaspora, including the 2018 book Pan-Africanism: A History.