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Welcome to Black History Month 2020

Image of a Black History Month 2020 banner

We are proud that in this turbulent and challenging year, we are once again able to support Black History Month as an important keystone in our cultural calendar.

Major events this year have given us all pause for thought regarding the history of Black African and Caribbean people.

As a council we continue to support this annual festival to commemorate the lives and contributions of all those with African and Caribbean descent to British society and the fantastic contribution they have made in the East End.

Arts and heritage are central to a largely online programme and we are delighted that the council has supported a number of organisations in developing a thoughtful and engaging offer, as well as delivering the wonderful Photo-Open online photography exhibition and a number of talks and presentations through our Idea Stores, libraries and Local History and Archive services.

As well as the online events a number of ‘Covid safe’ activities are planned. Grand Union orchestra will be providing live music on Friday evenings with a fantastic fusion of global sounds. Genesis Cinema are screening four films that look at the experience of the black heroine on the screen. Finally Bow Arts is reopening its gallery with the Visions in the Nunnery exhibition.

There are also a number of online talks covering issues ranging from mental health and London’s involvement in transatlantic slavery, to Black Lives Matter, and the impact of Covid-19 on the Somali community.

Performances include spoken word from young people; a play about gender roles from black perspectives; and one which celebrates food! Cooking is also part of a fantastic celebration of Somali culture from Numbi Arts who share recipes as a way to come together this October. 

For full details of these events and more, please visit the listings page.

Though much of this year’s programme is online, we are pleased that we can still engage with the richness of Black African and Caribbean arts, culture and history, and to celebrate our diverse communities and audiences across Tower Hamlets.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets
Councillor Sabina Akhtar, Cabinet Member for Culture, Arts and Brexit.