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Black History Month 2018

Tower Hamlets has an amazingly diverse and jam-packed programme of events to mark this significant occasion. With over 100 different workshops, screenings, concerts, exhibitions, talks and more, there is something for everyone. Full details of all the events in Tower Hamlets can be found in the brochure here.

Black History Month Events in Idea Stores and libraries are listed below:


The Empire Needs Men
Monday 1 - Sunday 7 October

Idea Store Chrisp Street
As the 100th anniversary of the armistice approaches, this exhibition highlights the individual stories of African soldiers and regiments, and the history surrounding them. Come and see standing colour banners which tell these stories along with framed historical photography from the World War I era.

Exhibition: Peter James
Monday 1 - Saturday 20 October

Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
An exhibition of the extraordinary artwork of Mr James, longtime Whitechapel resident and 84 year old Windrush Generation artist who came to London in 1955 from Trinidad. Peter’s striking and intense drawings, paintings and masks reflects on the roots and aspects of Black Britain from enslavement and the Middle Passage to the founding of Notting Hill Carnival.

Exhibition in a Box: Black Chronicles
Monday 1 October - Wednesday 31 October
Idea Store Canary Wharf
Autograph’s pop up photography display featuring 30 remarkable image panels reproduced from rare 19th century photographs portraying people of African, Caribbean and South Asian descent during the Victorian era in Britain. Part of The Missing Chapter project, which aims to bring together a distinct body of photographs that showcases diverse ‘black presences’ in Victorian and Edwardian Britain, offering a unique portrait of black lives and migrant experiences during the decades following the birth of photography in 1839.

Born of Good Intentions: The Life and Times of Black Victorian Children in a Banardo's Home
Wednesday 3 October, 7:00 - 9:00pm

Idea Store Whitechapel
Dr Barnardo became famous for taking in poor, destitute children during Victorian times. Not many people are aware that he also took in poor, destitute black and disabled children. Avril Nanton presents the stories of the children who were taken in and fostered by Barnardo’s during the Victorian era.

Female Voices
Thursday 4 October, 10:30am - 12:00pm

Cubitt Town Library
Stella Fifton, Daphne Grierson and Matilda Joseph, three women from East London, reflect on their experiences of being Black and British.

Exhibition: a necessary fiction
Friday 5 October - Friday 30 November

Idea Store Whitechapel
Centering on the Barbadian and Tower Hamlets resident Chris Braithwaite and through the manipulation of original archival photography, ceramics and film, Basil Olton will attempt to re-position the redacted history of black social radicalism. This was funded by the Arts Council as part of BHM 2017 at Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives.  It is being re-staged for those that missed it.

Whitechapel Muslim History Tour
Saturday 6 October, 11:00am - 1:00pm

Idea Store Whitechapel
Discover the pre-East London Mosque history of the area, street art and buildings reflecting E1's changing times and a whole host of other fascinating flashbacks.

Nomad: Archiving Somali History in 3D
Saturday 6 October, 2:00 - 4:30pm

Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Do you have a family heirloom that you would like to add to an online virtual archive of Somali cultural heritage? Join Abira Hussein and Sophie Dixon (Mnemoscene) for a workshop to digitise a cultural object in 3D using a technique called photogrammetry.

The workshop is free, but limited to 10 places.

Eventbrite - TRIBAL INSPIRED BEADED JEWELLERY

The Empire Needs Men
Monday 8 - Monday 15 October

Idea Store Watney Market
As the 100th anniversary of the armistice approaches, this exhibition highlights the individual stories of African soldiers and regiments, and the history surrounding them. Come and see standing colour banners which tell these stories along with framed historical photography from the World War I era.

Ahmad Ikhlas: Caribbean Dub Poet
Thursday 11 October, 6:30 - 8:00pm

Idea Store Whitechapel
Ahmad Ikhlas brings his unique spiritual dub poetry to Whitechapel, whilst treating us to some historical insights into the mysterious Caribbean Maroons.

Women Unite Against Racism: a local story
Thursday 11 October, 6:30 - 7:30pm

Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
An evening with Julie Begum, who will be sharing her story of a coalition of a women from diverse backgrounds who formed a group, Women Unite Against Racism, as part of the wider anti-racist and anti-fascist campaign that managed to get the BNP out of Tower Hamlets during the 90's.

Jeffrey Boakye: The Language of Race
Saturday 13 October, 3:30 - 5:00pm

Idea Store Whitechapel
Author Jeffrey Boakye (Hold Tight) gives us an exclusive preview of his upcoming book which looks at how language shapes our understanding of racial identities. Boakye’s gift is to address the heaviest of issues with a light, often humorous touch, leaving his audience equally enlightened and entertained.

Please note: This event was previously titled as 'Black, Listed'

Eventbrite - TRIBAL INSPIRED BEADED JEWELLERY

Spoken Word Poetry for ESOL Learners
Wednesday 17 October, 1:00 - 3:00pm

Idea Store Chrisp Street
Come and join Adukeh and listen to a spoken word poetry performance then have the chance to create your own in a workshop with an ESOL tutor and Adukeh. Use your voice and the English language to talk about your journey to the UK.  ESOL learners from across the borough are welcome to join at Entry 2 level or above.

In Conversation with Raymond Tabi
Thursday 18 October, 6:30 - 8:00pm

Idea Store Watney Market
His dad jumped ship from the French Navy in 1945 and Raymond has lived in Stepney all his life. Boxing at the Albert Hall for the ABA title, doorman at many of the East End Clubs. A great East End character.  Raymond’s always happy to stop and chat and make you laugh. Come and listen to his story.

The Beautiful Game
Saturday 20 October
Workshop, 12:00 - 1:30pm
Performance, 3:00pm

Idea Store Chrisp Street
A celebration of all things football! Samba Theatre presented by Cornucopia Theatre Company. With jaw dropping ensemble theatre, dance, spectacular costumes and live Samba percussion, ‘The Beautiful Game’ is an unforgettable immersive theatre piece; exciting for all! This is an amazing journey of football from the U.K to Brazil and around the world!

Carnival Poster
Saturday 20 October, 1:00 - 4:00pm

Idea Store Whitechapel
Join us to make a ‘Carnival Poster’ using recycled materials that reflect the culture and atmosphere of carnival.  A practical workshop suitable for adults or families.  Any children attending must be accompanied by an adult (2 children per adult max).

Eventbrite - TRIBAL INSPIRED BEADED JEWELLERY

Uncover the Missing Chapter
Tuesday 23 October, 6:30 - 7:30pm

Idea Store Canary Wharf
A free community event exploring the remarkable stories behind Autograph’s photographic project The Missing Chapter. Discover how rare portraits of African, Caribbean and South Asian people living and working in Victorian Britain were uncovered after 125 years. With an introduction by Ali Eisa (Public Programme Manager, Autograph) we welcome you to join the conversation and further discuss the themes of the photographs, reflecting on the long history of migration and diversity in Britain.

African Roots of Salsa Music and Dance
Wednesday 24 October, 7:00 - 9:00pm

The Shadwell Centre
Introducing the African origins of Salsa dance which will be followed by a fun dance class using basic Salsa movements. This workshop is aimed at all levels of ability over the age of 18.

Eventbrite - TRIBAL INSPIRED BEADED JEWELLERY

Tribal Mask making [Ages 5+]
Wednesday 24 October, 2:15 - 3:30pm
Idea Store Whitechapel
Come and get creative with us in this fun arts and crafts session.

Best of Africa [Ages 5+]
Thursday 25 October, 2:15 - 3:30pm
Idea Store Whitechapel
Create your own artwork to represent all the amazing things about Africa!

Mother Country: My Mother's Journey - Illustrated Talk by Jennifer Phillips
Thursday 25 October, 6:00 - 7:30pm

Idea Store Watney Market
“My mother was not part of Windrush, but followed soon after in 1954 at the age of 18. She came to Britain ‘Mother Country’ in response to the government recruitment drive.
My mother gave her life to England and worked in the NHS as a nurse. It was not her plan to remain here, but wanted to only stay for no more than five years.“ Jennifer Phillips

Ska, Reggae and African Rhythms
Thursday 25 October
Workshop 6:00 - 7:00pm
Free Reggae Guitar Lesson (bring your own guitar) 7:30 - 8:00

Idea Store Whitechapel
A performance followed by a guitar workshop.  The performance allows an insight into the migration of a fictional female during the 1960’s from Jamaica to London.  Look into the world she left behind, the folk songs, the dialect and be part of the transition to the new life; with music of the day Ska and Reggae.  Audience participation is anticipated.
Note:  If attending the Reggae Guitar lesson you will need to bring your own guitar.
Adults and Families.  Any children attending must be over the age of 11 and accompanied by an adult (2 children per adult max).

Eventbrite - TRIBAL INSPIRED BEADED JEWELLERY

Somali Seafarers: Film Launch
Thursday 25 October, 6:00 - 7:30pm

Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Join us to celebrate the lives of Somali elders who worked in the British Merchant navy in the second half of the Twentieth-Century. A group of young Somali volunteers have made a documentary film covering everything from fending off shark attacks to going dancing in 1960s Bethnal Green.

Somali Seafarers:Surviving the Sea
Thursday 25 October - Sunday 2 December
Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Encounter the stories and memories of Somalis who worked in the Merchant Navy after the Second World War. Following the independence of British Somaliland, many former colonial subjects moved to live and work in docks around the United Kingdom, joining communities established in the late Nineteenth-Century.

Black History Month Treasure Hunt [Ages 5+]
Saturday 27 October, 2:15 - 3:30pm
Idea Store Whitechapel
Join a team, explore the library, learn about black history, create a poster, and win the prize!

Ghanaian Kpanlogo Dance
Tuesday 30 October, 11:00am - 12:00pm

Idea Store Whitechapel
Watch a traditional Ghanaian dance performance called the Kpanlogo and join in with the performance.