Lambeth residents invited to get involved as Black History Month begins across the country


Many of the events in local libraries are free to attend.


By Douglas Patient

Black History Month is being celebrated this month with a variety of events in Lambeth.

Many of the events are free, and located in libraries around the area, where famous authors, actors and directors will be involved.

Events include films, exhibitions and workshops, and will also cater for the younger generation with debates for young people and storytelling for nurseries.

“As a library service we should be uncovering hidden histories and making sure that everybody is represented in what we do,” said Tim O’Dell, Reader Development Officer at Lambeth Libraries, who has organised the month for the last eight years at the libraries.

Black History Month started in this country in the mid-80s in libraries and schools, due to black influence being largely missing from official histories of Britain.

It has grown into an internationally recognised month to showcase the history and achievement of black people.

Clapham Library will be hosting Nicholas Bailey, who played Anthony Trueman in Eastenders, and Karen Bryson, who played Avril Powell in Shameless. On October 8, they will be conducting dramatic readings of Shakespeare and debating the role of black people in his plays.

Other highlights include author Lloyd Bradley, who will be at Brixton Library on October 16, presenting his new book: ‘Sounds of London; 100 years of black music in the capital’.

“We welcome everyone who comes along. It’s fantastic that they give their time to support it. Everyone recognises the importance of Black History Month,” said Mr O’Dell.

The libraries conduct evaluations and Mr O’Dell said they regularly receive glowing reports, with over 90% saying they loved the events and really enjoyed themselves.

Councillor Lorna Campbell, Cabinet Member for Equalities and Communities, said: “Lambeth is one of the most diverse boroughs in the country and in Black History Month we not only look to celebrate those communities, but also to embrace the wider African influences that have impacted so positively on British culture.

“I’m delighted to see almost all of the exciting events for this year’s Black History Month are being held at the borough’s brilliant libraries.”

To book an event, email [email protected] or phone 02079261075.

Photo courtesy of, with thanks.

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