Africa on the Square

Telling black stories - Black History Month 2017

02 October 2017

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Black History Month in the UK – an annual, worldwide celebration that began in the U.S. in 1927.

Black History Month is about restoring the experiences and contributions of African and Caribbean communities to our historical narrative – not only for a month, but all year long.

This October we’re celebrating the importance of storytelling in black communities.

The role of the ‘griot’ – sometimes known as a human library – began as a hereditary role in West Africa in the 14th century. Today, griots perform across the world: a living, speaking testimony to a society’s history.

At City Hall, we want to highlight London’s African and Caribbean storytellers who bring Black History to life. Historians, journalists, teachers and writers all ensure accounts of black history are accurate and visible.

Across London, celebrations include the amazing Africa on the Square, and Black History Month events spanning literature, art, film and music. Reggie Yates will be talking about his journey to becoming a documentary storyteller.

And a City Hall exhibition will mark the 35th anniversary of the Voice, Britain’s first Black newspaper.

Mayor Sadiq Khan has welcomed Black History Month in a video message. Last week he backed Sir Lenny Henry’s campaign to bring more diversity to our screens. He is also supporting the Black Cultural Archives, to help teachers include black history in their lessons and pupils to learn a more celebratory narrative.

We hope you can join us - let the storytelling begin!