Black History Month events guide: Sadiq Khan kicks off celebrations in south west London

Black History Month has been celebrated every October in the UK for more than 35 years – and this year south west London has gone all out.

Every year individuals and organisations come together to showcase different aspects and influences of the black community in Britain.

And this year, The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan kick-started the celebrations.

He said: “I believe that celebrations like Black History Month are a great way to bring communities together.

“They help strengthen the social fabric that makes London such a unique city and help show the world that #LondonIsOpen too.

“Here, we don’t just tolerate each other’s differences, we respect and celebrate them. For me, that’s what Black History Month is all about.”

South west London has a vast array of Black History Month events throughout October and we have put a list together to make sure you do not miss out.


What: Chibundu Onuzo – Author Q&A

When: Saturday 8th October 12pm to 1.30pm

Where: Brixton Library

Why:  History-making Chibundi Onuzo made headlines around the world after being the youngest female author at 19. The young inspiration, who started writing aged 10, will be talking about her writing and other topics.

How to book: 020 7926 1056 (Free event)

What: Resistance or Defence? Legacies of the 1985 uprisings

When: Saturday 8th October 6.30pm to 9pm

Where: Black Cultural Archives

Why: Looking back at the 1985 uprising against police brutality in Brixton, Tottenham, Toxteth and Peckham. Relevance to #BlackLivesMatter movement today.

How to book: 020 3757 8500 (Free Event)

What: Oscar winning documentary: 20 Feet from Stardom

When: Thursday 13th October 7pm

Where: Streatham Library, SW16 1PL

Why: Film about the backing singers and unsung heroines that helped support the careers of famous artists like Mick Jagger.

How to book: 020 7926 6768 (Free event)

What: Lambeth Caribbean family history surgery

When: Saturday 22nd October 2pm to 5pm

Where: Streatham Library

Why: Explore and trace back your family history with SI Martin.

How to book: Streatham Library, 020 7926 6768 (Free event)

What: Stories from Africa

When: Tuesday 25th October 2.30pm to 3.30pm

Where: Durning Library

Why: Get children involved in fun recreation of traditional stories from Africa. Experience them through song, dance and role playing.

How to book: 020 7926 6076 (Free event)


What: Black History Month Story Time

When: Tuesday 11th October 11am to 11:30am

Where: Raynes Park Library

Why: Fun Children’s activity and a chance to celebrate Black History Month with stories, rhymes and games.

How to book: No booking required (Free event)

What: Pollards Hill Celebrates Black History Month

When: Saturday 15th October 11am to 3.30pm

Where: Pollards Hill Library

Why: Motivational films and discussions, guest speakers, entertainment and stalls.

How to book: 020 8274 5741 (Free event)

What: Black History Month Themed Children’s Craft

When: Saturday 15th October 2pm to 4pm

Where: West Barnes Library

Why: Fun children’s craft and activities

How to book: 033 3370 4700 (Free event)

What: Black History Month at Merton Arts Space: Book Launch and Live Music with Asher Senator

When: Thursday 20th October 6pm to 7pm

Where: Merton Arts Space

Why: Asher Senator will recapture the feel and music of the 70s and 80s. His new book, ‘Smiley and Me’ is a colourful and vibrant page-turner, taking the reader behind the cutthroat machine of the music business.

How to book: 02082745757 (Free event)


What: Black History Month Trail at the Museum of Croydon

When: Saturday 22nd October 11am to 11pm

Where: The Museum of Croydon

Why: Explore the galleries and find out about people from Croydon and their stories in the Museum.

How to book: 020 853 1022 (Free event)

What: Rastamouse at Croydon Libraries

When: Monday 24th October 11am

Where: New Addington Library

Why: Join De Souza, author of Rastamouse, for a special performance this half term, as seen on Cbeebies.

How to book: 02037001013 (Free event)

What: Never say Never: I can do it – with local author O A Clement

When: Wednesday 26th October 2pm to 3pm

Where: Thornton Heath Library

Why: Local inspirational author O A Clement talks about his book. And answers a Q&A

How to book: 02037001023 9 (Free event)

What: Superwoman 2016

When: Friday 28th October 6pm

Where: Stella Fasusi Olomu Croydon Conference Centre

Why: Celebration of the great achievements of women of colour, this fun, vibrant conference aims to uplift and inspire.

How to book: Eventbrite (£5 early bird, £10 on the door) free for children under 15s.

What: Lorna Liverpool

When: Saturday 29th October 10am

Where: Croydon Central Library

Why: Join in our Black History Month celebrations special story time with local storyteller and performer, Lorna Liverpool

How to book: 02037001034 or 02037001038 (Free event)


What: Black Women’s Political Activism in Britain: Thoughts and Reflections

When: Monday 10th October 6.30pm to 8pm

Where: Battersea Library

Why: This talk outlines the historical development of black women’s collective agency in 1980’s Britain, with particular attention to OWAAD (the Organisation of Women of Asian and African descent 1978 – 1982).

How to book: 02072232334 (Free event)

What: Stories from the South Crongton Estate

When: Wednesday 12th October 2pm to 3.15pm

Where: Balham Library

Why: Alex Wheatle will talk about his latest books ‘Liccle Bit’ and ‘Crongton Knights’. Crongton Knights is a funny and moving story from the South Crongton council estate in inner city London. Although life is testing, the lessons learned the hard way are the ones you’ll never forget.

How to book: 02086731129 (Free event)

What: From Pasta to Pigfoot: second helpings

When: Thursday 20th October 6.30pm

Where: Putney Library

Why: Ghanaian-born author Frances Mensah Williams talks about her life, the inspiration behind her novel.

How to Book: 02077204122 (Free event)

What: Impact of Slave Ownership in Modern Britain

When: Thursday 27th October 6.30pm

Where: Tooting Library

Why: Dr. Keith McClelland describes the Legacies of British Slave-Ownership project, which has been running at University College London Since 2009.

How to book: 02087670543 (Free event)

What: Case Dismissed! Book Reading and Signing

When: Monday 31st October 6.30pm

Where: Battersea Library

Why: Celebrated community figure Gloria Cameron will talk about her autobiography

‘Case Dismissed! An Ordinary Jamaican Woman; An Extraordinary Life.’

How to book: 0207223233 (Free event)

Related Articles