Highlights of the council’s programme include:
- A new booklist for children and young people celebrating Black British authors offering books from picture books to hard-hitting novels for teens. All of the books are available at Islington libraries and library members can reserve any of the books for free.
- Storytelling experiences with Bigfoot Arts Education. ‘A Passenger's Story: Generation Windrush’ tells the story of the Empire Windrush through the eyes of passengers Grace and Jakob, as they embark on a voyage from the Carribbean to their new lives in Britain. Islington school students will take part in the storytelling sessions at libraries around the borough during October.
- Hair, it’s a Family Affair! Award winning author Mylo Freeman will be reading from her picture book celebrating afro hair at Archway and South libraries on Wednesday 23 October, followed by free, family-friendly illustration workshops.
- Celebrating the Keskidee Centre: Under 5s Messy Play at the Museum. The Keskidee Centre in Gifford Street, Islington was Britain's first arts centre for the black community. Islington Museum is offering free drop-in messy play sessions for under 5s to help celebrate its history.
Grown-ups aren’t missing out either and there are also a number of fascinating Black History Month events for adults, including:
- An Evening with Paul Crooks at the Central Library on October 17. Trailblazing family historian Paul Crooks, author of ‘Ancestors’, inspired a generation to start exploring Black and British ancestry. Paul talks about his book and his journey to find his family history. The event is free but booking is essential.
Cllr Una O’Halloran, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Community Development, said:
“Black History Month is an important opportunity to celebrate the incredible contributions Black British people have made to British culture, heritage and communities. It’s also an opportunity to reflect on the historic injustices that Black, African and Caribbean people have faced and continue to face. It’s vital that we understand the lessons of the past and teach these to our children as we work towards building a more equitable, inclusive community.
“The council’s exciting line-up of Black History Month events is full of fun and fascinating events for all ages to enjoy. The events are designed to showcase achievement in engaging and interactive ways, bringing inspiring stories to life in a way that helps people engage with history.
“I encourage all residents to get involved in Black History events this October and find out what’s happening near you!”
A full line up of Black History Month events and more information is available on the council’s Islington Life blog.