Hackney’s Black History Season showcases the stories of influential and inspirational people from Black communities

This year’s Black History Season, which celebrates Black culture and achievement in Hackney, is themed ‘Stories Untold’ and will showcase the stories and journeys of influential and inspirational people that have left their mark on the borough.

The theme was developed by Hackney Council’s Children and Education services, who, after hosting the groundbreaking Anti-Racist Praxis Conference in May 2022 and inspired by the ‘Warm Shores’ sculptures outside of Hackney Town Hall, wanted to center the often silenced, intergenerational stories and voices of Black and Global Majority people. By celebrating these stories untold, we hope they can continue to unmask, repair and prevent the hidden wounds of racial trauma on Black and the Global Majority children and families in Hackney. 

Over the next two months, Hackney Libraries, Hackney Museum, Hackney Archives, Children and Education services and Young Hackney will host an exciting, interactive and thought-provoking collection of in-person events, exhibitions and forums celebrating Black history and acknowledging the significant contributions of Black and Global Majority communities in Hackney.

Hackney Black History Season begins with the raising of Hackney’s unique Black History flag, designed by local resident Malaika Parillon Langlais Baron in 2018 through a schools competition. The flag will fly above Hackney Town Hall throughout October to mark the borough’s pride in acknowledging its Black history.

Other highlights of the season include:

  • An exhibition at Hackney Museum about African heritage influencers in Hackney - exploring how African heritage individuals have shaped Hackney to be the borough it is today. 
  • A trail of globe sculptures across Hackney designed by artists from Hackney and throughout the UK, to bring together people, families and communities to talk about how we understand Black History.
  • An intergenerational exhibition of stories about life in Hackney from Black and Global Majority students, residents and staff - presented through writing, art, music, poetry at The Tomlinson Centre.
  • An in-person event with Jay Blades, sharing lived experiences with a Hackney youth panel at Hackney Archives.

As we strive to be an anti-racist borough, it remains important to have focused time to learn, share and celebrate African and African-Caribbean heritage and culture in Hackney and around the World. 

All our residents are urged to explore the fantastic family-friendly programme curated by Hackney Libraries which includes poetry readings, book clubs, film screenings and history-inspired craft sessions. Hackney Museum’s exhibition Movers, Shakers and Community Makers looks at how African heritage individuals have shaped Hackney, while our special programme of educational and interactive activities in youth hubs, sports hubs and adventure playgrounds, will enable children and young people in the borough to learn about Black history and the significance of the Black contribution nationally and internationally.

Cllr Chris Kennedy, Cabinet member for health, adult social care, voluntary sector and culture
 Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney

Here in Hackney, honouring Black history is a year-round affair. As the world continues to fight against systemic racism, it is crucial we help celebrate the positive and 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. On National Windrush Day in July we proudly unveiled our second artwork in honour of the Windrush generation. Now, through this year’s richly curated programme, I welcome everyone across the borough to join us as we share, enjoy and learn from a history that belongs to us all.

Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney

For further updates and information, visit Facebook.com/HackneyBlackHistory and lovehackney.uk/black-history-season 

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