Highest number of school children learn about Black History

Badlaydee hackney black history workshops

Last year saw the highest ever number of Hackney children learning about local Black History through an exhibition at Hackney Museum.

Over 2,600 local primary school children have visited the Museum since October, taking part in interactive and fun workshops exploring the borough’s African and Caribbean heritage.

This year's Black History exhibition, ‘Roots, Rhythms & Records: The Sounds and Stories of African & Caribbean Music in Hackney’, looks at how, as early as 1873, Black musicians have been influencing the cultural scene in Hackney.

The children, aged between five and eleven, learnt about musicians with connections to Hackney, like Lovers Rock singer Louisa Mark and British hip-hop artist Overlord X. The older children had the opportunity to work with singer and rapper Donna Powell, a.k.a. Bad Lay-Dee, learning about what an inspiring place Hackney is for musicians and, through tips and advice given by Donna, produced and performed their own raps and songs.

Workshop leader and artist Donna Powell said: “Being given the opportunity to deliver music workshops as part of the Museum’s Black History Season has been such an incredible experience. During October, November and December, I taught hundreds of children how to sing and rap! But most importantly, the workshops focused on bringing out the best in today’s young people and showing them how they can use music and performance to increase their confidence. In 2019, I will be taking Bad Lay-Dee’s Music Workshop into schools to help even more young people to find their own voice and create a positive change through music.”

These workshops are supported by Hackney Council so are free for schools. This is the tenth year that the Museum has had a dedicated Black History program for primary aged children. As well as teaching children during the borough’s annual Black History Season, throughout the year the Museum provides a programme of activities, focusing on the diverse, personal histories of people who have moved to Hackney from all over the world and make it what it is.

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Deputy Mayor of Hackney
It’s fantastic that through Hackney Museum so many young people can learn about the boroughs African and Caribbean heritage. It’s really important that we share local history in a community setting like the Museum so everyone can learn about the diverse and dynamic cultures and communities that make Hackney the fantastic place it is today.
Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Deputy Mayor of Hackney

School workshops have now ended but families are being encouraged to visit the exhibition which is open until 16 March, and includes family activities such as an interactive vinyl booth.

More details can be found online: www.hackney.gov.uk/museum by calling 020 8356 3500 or by following @HackneyMuseum on social media.