Black History Month 2021

Redbridge is one of London’s most diverse boroughs, with a long and rich black history. Black History Month is a time to reflect on, talk about and share our black history.  Join us at one or more of our events to celebrate an important part of our Redbridge history.

Redbridge Black History Month events

Date Event Venue and time Price and booking details

Sunday 3 October and

Sunday 17 October

Black Brits African and Caribbean community fairA celebration of Black culture with stalls including arts and crafts, food, music, fashion, jewellery and health and wellbeing. The fair will be on again on Sunday 17 October. Both fairs will be at Redbridge Central Library, 11am to 5pm £1 - no booking needed
Monday 4 October

Ancestry Talks: Black History for Beginners

In this online talk, historian Paul Crooks will take you on a journey from ancient Africa to Black Britain via the Caribbean.

Online talk via Zoom, 6.30pm Free - book your place
Wednesday 6 October Black History Month reading groupThe  group will be reading: 'The Vanishing Half' by Brit Bennett and 'Transcendent Kingdom' by Yaa Gyasi. This event will be taking place in the library and online. Redbridge Central Library and via Zoom, 3pm to 4.15pm Free - no booking required. If you are attending online, email the library for the Zoom link.
Thursday 7 October Pop 'n' Paint Black Icons for Queens Night: Beyonce versus RihannaOur resident artists will be here to help you recreate your own masterpieces. For ages 16+ Redbridge Central Library, 8pm to 10pm £20 - book your ticket
Saturday 9 October The Rapping Princess with Hannah LeeJoin author Hannah Lee and learn about fairy tales as she reads from her new picture book, 'The Rapping Princess'. For ages 3 to 7 Redbridge Central Library, 11.30am to 12.30pm Free - no booking needed
Saturday 9 October Spoken word masterclass. Join the musician and poet Mr Gee  to hone your writing and performance skills in this fun masterclass. For ages 14+ Redbridge Central Library, 1pm to 4pm Free - book your ticket

Wednesday 13 October

Keynote Event: Irwinners: Britain's First Gladiators Champion. 29 Years ago, Weininger Irwin, from Redbridge, won the first-ever series of hit TV show Gladiators. He went on to invent the sport of resistance sliding and leads community group Ageless Teens. Hear about his successes, the challenges he has overcome and what it feels like to beat the legendary Wolf. Hosted by Christian Frederick Online talk via Teams, 6pm to 7:30pm  Free - join the event
14 October Pop 'n' Paint Black Icons: Black PantherOur resident artists will be here to help you recreate your own masterpieces. For ages 16+ Redbridge Central Library, 6pm to 8pm £20 - book your ticket
Saturday 16 October Children's Pop ‘n’ Paint Black Icons: Be a SuperheroOur resident artists will be here to help you recreate your own masterpieces. Parents are welcome too! For ages 5+ Fullwell Cross Library, 12.30pm to 2.30pm £10 - book your ticket
Saturday 16 October

Ilford food festival A world food festival including dance performances and family activities in celebration of Black History Month.

By the Town Hall building, Ilford High Road, 11am to 5pm Free - no booking needed
Saturday 16 October

COBO: Comedy Shutdown Join COBO, Comedy of Black Origin, in their Black History Month special.

Kenneth More Theatre, 7.30pm £19 adults; £16.50 concessions - book your ticket
Thursday 21 October Colorism: the origin In this online talk, historian Paul Crooks provides an insight into the roots of colourism, stemming from his research into his family history, going back over 200 years. Online talk via Zoom, 7pm to 8pm Free - book your place
Saturday 23 October to Friday 29 October

Social Action Youth Film Workshop. A series of workshops by ADANNA Women's Support Group to teach young people about Black inspirational people who have made a positive difference. Learn how to create a social action campaign for positive change. Ages 11 to 18

Saturday will be at the Barking Learning Centre, 10am to 3pm;  Monday to Friday will be at the Cranbrook Baptist Church, Ilford, 10am to 3pm Free - book your place
Saturday 23 October

'Distant Drums' by Whispered Tales A thought-provoking digital art installation that tells the story of Reggae Sound System culture and its role in the fight for racial equality.

Community Pitch, Ilford High Road, 11am to 6pm Free - no booking needed
Tuesday 26 October

The art of African head wrappingLearn African head wrapping using cloth pashminas in this fun workshop. Ages 7+

Redbridge Central Library, 12 noon - 2pm £2 - book your ticket
Wednesday 27 October and Wednesday 3 November

MIND: Black women's listening eventTo help isolated groups discuss their unmet social and mental health needs. This event will also run on Wednesday 3 November. For ages 16+

Both events will be at Redbridge Central Library, 11am to 2pm Free - no booking needed
Thursday 28 October

Travelling whilst Black: virtual reality experienceA virtual reality experience that will immerse you into the history of restriction of movement for Black Americans and the creation of safe spaces in our communities.

Redbridge Central Library, 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm. The video lasts 15 minutes Free - no booking needed
Thursday 28 October

Let’s talk about writing with Roy MerchantLocal African Caribbean author Roy Merchant talks about his writing and how to get published.

Online talk via Zoom, 2pm to 4pm Free - book your place
Thursday 28 October IROKO drumming workshop A fun workshop, using rhythms, movement, singing, chanting and musical games. Ages 7+ Fullwell Cross Library, 2pm to 4pm £2 - book your ticket 
Thursday 28 October State of mind... what would you do?This workshop combines art, film and acting and is based on real life scenarios that young people face growing up in London. For ages 12+ Redbridge Central Library, 2pm to 4pm Free -  book your ticket

Children's holiday drop-in sessions

Pop into your library for these free drop-in sessions for children to make crafts and play games in celebration of Black History Month. For ages 5+.

Date Library and time
Saturday 9 October South Woodford library, 12 noon to 2pm
Saturday 16 October Hainault library, 10.30am to 12 noon
Saturday 23 October Hainault library, 10.30am to 12 noon
Saturday 23 October Woodford Green library, 12 noon to 2pm
Tuesday 26 October Redbridge Central library, 2pm to 3pm
Thursday 28 October Goodmayes library, 11am to 12 noon
Thursday 28 October Seven Kings library, 11am to 12 noon
Thursday 28 October Wanstead library, 2.30pm to 3.30pm
Saturday 30 October

Gants Hill library, 11am to 12 noon

Ongoing events 

Event Find out more
'Memories of Windrush,' a short film that explores the experiences of the Windrush generation who settled in Redbridge. 

Watch Memories of Windrush on YouTube

New website launch - Sylvia Pankhurst: Essex to Ethiopia. Sylvia Pankhurst lived in Woodford Green from 1924 to 1956 and was a suffragette, an accomplished artist and political campaigner who championed Ethiopian independence.

To mark the launch of the new website, Redbridge Museum will be posting on Facebook and Twitter about Sylvia's links to the cause of Ethiopian and Pan-African independence. Follow @RedbridgeMuseum on Facebook and Twitter.

Sylvia Pankhurst inspired half-term online activities. To tie in with the launch of the new website about Sylvia Pankhurst, the Redbridge Museum will present Ethiopian and African-inspired online activities. Visit the Redbridge Museum website for more details.
Black history sessions for schools. Redbridge Museum can deliver online sessions for schools. The sessions include ‘Suitcase Stories’ which looks at migration from the Caribbean into Redbridge from the 1960s and ‘We Were Not Alone: Commonwealth Contributions to the Second World War’. Redbridge Museum can deliver these sessions throughout the year. Find out more about the Schools Programme on the Redbridge Museum website.

About our programme of events

This year, local organisations, community groups and individuals have come together to plan and promote our Black History Month programme. We have held events for Black History Month in Redbridge every year, but this year we have worked together to put on this programme of events that our community can easily hear about and take part in.

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