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Welcome to Black History Month 2021

BHM banner 2021

As we continue to navigate through challenging times, we are delighted that Tower Hamlets Council is once again supporting a varied and exciting programme of events for Black History Month 2021.

This important feature in the cultural calendar is an opportunity to spotlight Black achievements, to understand black histories and to celebrate the enormous contributions made by those of African and Caribbean descent both locally and nationally.

Much of the programme for October 2021 is venue-based, with a spread of events across the borough and online. The council has supported a range of thought-provoking activities and events with live music, film, workshops, art, theatre, talks and more.

Genesis Cinema are keeping it local by presenting a film season showcasing key London-based films by black filmmakers, Purple Moon encourage young creatives of colour take the mic with new writing, and schools can take part in unforgettable experiences from Iroko Theatre’s cultural jamboree.

Women come to the fore in both Black Sheroes, which highlights herstories of black British women and a play from Road Productions about black female empowerment.

Brilliant live music from both Poplar Union and Grand Union Orchestra includes an evening of reggae and R&B, Samba, emerging artists paying tribute to Black history through sound, and workshops celebrating music from the African diaspora.

Somali Week Festival is now the biggest Somali festival in the diaspora and presents drama, poetry, inter-generational activities, a book fair and more to provide a platform for the Somali community to highlight their cultural heritage.

Participate in workshops from Numbi which explore personal archiving, the archiving of Somali culture or printmaking, or find out about the life of black activist, and Tower Hamlets local Kathleen Warsame.

Immerse yourself in striking images from ten Black artists whose work is showcased in the Beauty and Power photography exhibition and discover Sierra Leone from the perspective of creatives who live and breathe Sierra Leone.

See how two murals are developed by Trapped in Zone One with input from local participants who explore and celebrate the diversity and the unity of our borough.

And finally, treat yourself to some of the best clothes, crafts, health products and more at the Black Owned Makers Market or come along to Poplar Union for a fashion show like no other.

We encourage you to take advantage of the opportunities to reconnect with arts, culture and communities as a way to learn, engage and enjoy all that Black History Month has to offer.

For full details of these events and more, browse the what's on listings page.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets

Councillor Sabina Akhtar, Cabinet Member for Culture, Arts and Brexit.