Feast of events to mark Black History Month in Islington and Hackney

A Nelson Mandela documentary will be shown

A Nelson Mandela documentary will be shown - Credit: Archant

A four-week feast of film, workshops and history is set for Hackney and Islington in honour of Black History Month.

The theme for this year’s festival, which runs throughout October, is leadership and people who have triumphed in the fight for equal rights.

Hackney’s showpiece event is Sankofa – the African Adinka symbol meaning the wisdom of learning from the past to build the future – an exhibition starting today at Hackney Museum, in Reading Lane, Hackney Central.

The presentation looks back over the past 75 years of the history of African and African Caribbean people in this country and the rise of Black History Month, from its 1926 American origins as Negro History Week to its beginnings and development in the UK 25 years ago.

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Other highlights include the The Great Sports Debate on October 17, which asks whether black communities are reaping the benefits from the Olympic heroics of athletes like Mo Farah, Christine Ohuruogu and Jessica Ennis; and a Jamaica Speak performance on October 30, a social commentary that will transport you through rural and urban Jamaica with lots of audience participation.

Islington’s celebrations kick off with a screening of Sus on October 4 – there will be half a dozen more films shown across the borough before the programme culminates with The Long Walk of Nelson Mandela, an exclusive film.

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There will be workshops and seminars for young people on subjects like the power of musical lyrics and youth culture and the successes of great black men from the past and present.

The festival closes on November 1 with Black History’s Future, a conference on how to ensure that diversity is integrated into the mainstream.

Cllr Catherine West, leader of Islington Council said: “We are very proud of Islington’s diverse history and the people who have moulded our uniquely diverse character. Black History Month is the borough’s chance to highlight the important contribution black people have made to leadership, fairness and the economy.”

For more information visiit www.islington.gov.uk/bhm (Islington) or www.hackney.gov.uk/black-history-month (Hackney).

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