A new map charting Hackney’s rich history of African and Caribbean culture is being published as part of a season of events and activities as the borough’s annual Black History season returns in October.

The Hackney Black History Map will help residents complete self-guided or specially-led walks through the borough’s cultural past as part of a two-month programme that will also see Q&A film screenings, music sets from former Trojan Sound System DJs, poetry, recipe sharing, and online reading groups.

Hackney’s unique Black History flag, designed by local resident Malaika Parillon Langlais Baron in 2018 through a schools competition to design a new flag, will fly above Hackney Town Hall throughout October to mark the borough’s pride in acknowledging its Black history.

Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills and Human Resources, said: “Here in Hackney, honouring Black history is a year-round affair. Alongside our ongoing support and honour for the Windrush Generation, this year has seen us launch a new Black Lives Matter Motion which commits us to being an anti-racist borough.

As we acknowledge the disproportionate effect coronavirus has had on the Black community, and as the world reconciles with systemic racism, it’s crucial we continue to celebrate the positive and vital contributions Black people bring to Hackney. Through this richly curated programme, we will share, enjoy and learn from a history that belongs to us all.”

Highlights of Black History Season 2020 include:

  • Disco Loco History of Reggae: hear legendary reggae selector Earl Gateshead (formerly of Trojan Sound System) play records and share stories for families to listen (and dance) to! (Fridays throughout Oct. Visit Hackney Showroom for info)
  • Watch a film screening of African and Caribbean History in Hackney along with a Q&A with performer, rapper and spoken word artist Bad Lay-Dee. (Fri 9 Oct, 7-8.30pm. Free. Online). Booking link. 
  • Hackney Archives and youth-led police monitoring group ACCOUNT explore policing in Hackney, with discussions and materials from the archives. (Wed 11 November, 6-8pm. Free. Online). Booking link.
  • Windrush Generation descendant Rhys Hollis will host ‘Ladybird Boy’ – a cabaret performance about his life as a queer Black artist at the legendary The Glory. Wed 21 Oct 8pm. Booking link.
  • Young Hackney, invigorated by the Black Lives Matter movement, has themed its series of events ‘Young, Black Power’. They will host storytelling, film screenings, a trip to The Tate, African drumming and a celebration of Black characters in gaming. Oct-Dec. Free. Visit Young Hackney for info.
  • Reading recommendations, online craft lessons and brain teasers will be posted on the Hackney Libraries social media plus the upcoming librarian-led Black History Walk will use the new Black History Poster Map pinpointing Black landmarks and legacies across Hackney. The map will be available in a forthcoming edition of Hackney Life and online.

Due to coronavirus restrictions, and with particular consideration to the disproportionate effect the virus is having on Black communities, this year’s programme will feature mostly online or socially-distanced events.

Black History Season will also see the introduction of brand new learning resources produced by Hackney teachers to teach children in key-stage 1 and 2 about the Windrush Generation.

For further updates and information, visit Facebook.com/HackneyBlackHistory and lovehackney.uk/black-history-season