“We are no longer on the fringes, we are no longer sitting in silence. I would say it is not Black history, it is history.”

Black History Month events in Islington this October

Julia Gregory, Local Democracy reporter

Simon Hudson, author of History Through the Black Experience, talking at Islington town hall.  Mr Hudson holds up two books in front of a table where more books are stacked.
Simon Hudson, author of History Through the Black Experience, talking at Islington town hall. Photo: Julia Gregory

“It’s important to access our history not just to be proud of who you are, but to not to limit yourself but to discover the whole world,” said Simon Hudson who has delved into the history of thousands of people. The author of the two volume History of the Black Experience shared the stories of some of the people he features at the two day Go Africa Festival of Arts at Islington town hall.

The event was organised by the Go Africa Cultural Hub and showcased art and artwork  created by residents and other individuals who have participated in Go Africa’s creative workshops

They include Scotland’s Andrew Watson, the first Black footballer to play in international matches in the 1880s, eighteenth century composer  and violinist Joseph Boulogne Chevalier de St George and architect David Adjaye whose work includes the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC.

Mr Hudson worked on his project during lockdown and picked events for every day of the year. He said its important to include everyone in history and that those stories are celebrated throughout the year. “It’s about levelling up. It’s about saying here we are. We are no longer on the fringes, we are no longer sitting in silence. I would say it is not Black history, it is history.”

Tamara Nkrumah from Ob-Vious Lyyy Ltd worked with visitors, including school groups, to create art about favourite food and flags from their countries. She said: “They really had fun doing it. I’ve been doing workshops with in the summer and during last year’s Black History Month and it’s having conversations with children, asking them about their background and their family’s favourite food.”

Visitors also had the chance to explore campaigns to combat racism in South Africa with displays from the Anti-Apartheid Legacy Centre of Memory and Learning, which is based at Penton Street in Islington, which was the exiled African National Congress’ UK base.

Designer Iyabo Ademosu showed jewellery and fashion at the event.
She won a trip to Gambia where she worked with craftspeople and showcased some of the fabrics at the event  in Islington. She said events like this  “are about  identity and heritage and our community. You get a sense of somewhere to belong to.”

Other events  during this year’s  Back History Month in Islington are community bike rides with the ChainGang Cyclists on Saturdays October 8 and 15. There is also story telling  for the under fives with Sandra Agard at Archway Library  on Wednesday 12 October  and Central  Library on Friday 21 October.

Islington healthcare professionals Queen’s Nurse Tina Jegede, consultant anaesthetist Dr Sola Makinde and psychotherapeutic counsellor Ntale Eastmond, are sharing their career stories and talking about health problems which typically affect the Black community on Thursday October 20.

There’s also an exhibition about the  40th anniversary of the International Book Fair of Radical Black and 3rd World Books at Finsbury Library from October 17 until November 19.

People can learn to cook African and Caribbean dishes at the Family Kitchen sessions at the Hilldrop Community Centre.

There will also be refreshments at Islington town hall on Wednesday November 26 when people will offer advice about well-being and the cost of living.

Further details about other events and how to book places are available at Islington Life – Black History Month 2022

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