Hackney’s Black History Season sees Hackney make history by honouring its Black community
Hackney’s many Black communities and heroes will be celebrated from September to December with this year’s Black History Season programme.
The season, which highlights the contribution and legacy of Hackney’s Black community, will see history being made, for both Hackney and the UK, with the unveiling of the UK’s first permanent public artwork honouring the Windrush generation, and the first renaming of a public space in the borough to reflect Hackney’s inclusive, anti-racist values.
Highlights of the season, titled ‘Hackney Black History In The Making’, include:
- The unveiling of the UK’s first permanent public artwork honouring the Windrush generation, by artist Veronica Ryan.
- The renaming of a public gardens, part of the Council’s work to review public spaces named after people who profited from the transatlantic trafficking of enslaved Africans, and reflect the diversity of Hackney residents instead.
- A ceremony to officially open BRAFA Square in Shoreditch, named in honour of the British Reggae Artists Famine Appeal Team, Hackney’s answer to Live Aid, being live-streamed.
- The reveal of Future Hackney community project’s second street photo exhibition, Ridley Road Stories part 2, documenting the lives of Hackney’s Caribbean and African residents.
The season will feature events from Hackney Council’s Museum, Libraries, Archives, Sports and Education teams, adding to the work they do all year-round to make Black history visible and accessible. This includes Hackney Museum's ‘Being African In Hackney’ exhibition, poetry workshops with former young poet laureate Theresa Lola, and a lecture from Hakim Adi - the first person of African heritage to become a professor of history in Britain.
Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills and Human Resources, said:
“Over the next few months, I welcome everyone across the borough to join us as we not only make history, but also share, enjoy and learn from a history that belongs to us all.
“The past 18 months have been extraordinarily challenging for everyone. They have also revealed the extent of structural racism and the life-limiting impact it has, as well as the need to honour the legacy and the vital contributions Black people bring to Hackney.
“Black history season is an opportunity to acknowledge and recognise the historical and contemporary contributions residents make to life in the borough while also looking to future contributions.”
- Kit Crowley - credit Emma DaviesKit Crowley - credit Emma Davies
- Professor Hakim Adi will be hosting a talk at Hackney Museum
- Selma James will be hosting a book launch at CLR James Library 30 September
- Hackney Black History Season 2021_poster
- The live-stream opening of BRAFA Sq will be 6 October_CREDIT_David_Corio
Hackney’s community groups and businesses marking Black History Season are also invited to submit their events if they wish to be promoted as part of the programme.
Notes for editors:
Throughout October, Hackney's unique Black History flag, designed by local resident Malaika Parillon Langlais Baron in 2018, the winner of a schools competition to design a new flag, will fly above Hackney Town Hall.
More information on Hackney’s Windrush Artwork Commission
Find out more about the renaming of Kit Crowley gardens.
For more information on the Future Hackney community project documenting social change in East London: futurehackney.com