This October, London will come alive with vibrant celebrations, educational initiatives, and cultural events as the nation commemorates Black History Month. This year’s theme is “Celebrating our sisters, saluting our Sisters, and Honouring Matriarchs of Movements in British Society”, putting the spotlight on the remarkable contributions and legacies of Black women throughout history.
The month-long festival, first celebrated in the UK in 1987, raises awareness of history and celebrates traditions, customs, and cultures through educational events, exhibitions, shows, talks, memorial services, and installations across London.
Black History Month should serve as a platform to amplify the voices and stories of Black British women, honouring their significant contributions to all aspects of life in the UK while addressing the ongoing challenges they face. It’s a time to celebrate achievements, raise awareness, and foster unity and understanding among all communities.
A Tribute to Resilience and Leadership
Black History Month 2023 highlights the importance of recognising the pivotal role that Black women have played in shaping British society. It is a time to reflect on their achievements, acknowledge the obstacles they have overcome, and salute their enduring legacy.
Throughout history, Black women have achieved extraordinary feats in various fields. From literature to music, politics and sports, Black British women have made lasting marks on British culture and society.
Black women have been at the forefront of social justice movements, advocating for equality, justice, and human rights, it’s important to acknowledge their courage, determination, and tireless efforts to effect positive change.
Sheroes Among Us – highlighting contemporary black women who are breaking barriers and shattering stereotypes in their respective fields.
Pioneering Voices – featuring black women who have used their voices to speak out against injustice, with quotes from their speeches or writings.
Innovators and Entrepreneurs – showcasing black women who have made significant strides in business and entrepreneurship.
Breaking Barriers – featuring black women who have broken down barriers in sports, entertainment, politics, and other fields.
Women Who Move Mountains – celebrating black women who have made significant contributions to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields
Women Who Lead – showcasing black women who have made significant contributions to leadership and governance.
Black History Month Events in London
This Black History Month, explore some of London’s citywide events celebrating the Black communities that have shaped our city. From exhibitions, black-led markets, and beautiful performances to feed your eyes and ears, we have chosen just a handful of incredible events that are happening over London this October.
– On the hunt for literary gems by Black writers? Meet fellow bookworms at the Black British Book Festival. 27-28 Oct
– Join Black-Owned Hackney Market for a weekend-long celebration of Black-owned businesses at Bohemia Place Market. Featuring a mouth-watering selection of food, drinks, retail items, and live music. 5 – 7 Oct
– Comedy Shutdown brings Comedy of Black Origin, a Black History Month Special with some of the best comedians in the business. Multiple dates and locations.
– Claudette Johnson, a founding member of the Black British Arts Movement, is the focus of the current exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery — Claudette Johnson: Presence is a retrospective showing off 30 years of her large-scale drawings of Black men and women. 29 Sept – 14 Jan
– Breaking Barriers: Black History, Queer Voices & Resilience. Head down to the Brown Suga – Black History Month Party for an evening of voguing workshops, DJs and special performances into the early hours. 21 Oct
Looking for more events across London? Head to the BHM official website.