The Foundation’s Round Up of Black History Month 2020 events in East London

5 October 2020
By Amy Zamarripa Solis

October 2020 is set to be an exciting month for Black History Month, with a lots of arts, culture and heritage activity lined up in Hackney Newham, and Tower Hamlets.

Black History Month is an annual UK celebration that takes place throughout October to mark the contributions, history and culture of Black African and Caribbean people. The first Black History Month started in 1987. However the history of the Black presence in Britain has been dated back to 14th century or before.

This year’s programmes share a strong focus on the Windrush contribution and vital discussions on Black Lives Matter agenda in reaction to George Floyd’s murder, as well as the movement to decolonising public spaces such as academia curriculm.

Read on and get involved in this year’s month-long programme. Expect high quality offer of visual arts, dance, theatre, literature, talks, films and more.


Hackney launches an ambitious two-month programme across October and November 2020.

Highlights include:

  • Hackney Libraries’ African and Caribbean traditional storytime (every Thursday)

  • Disco Loco History of Reggae legendary reggae selector Earl Gateshead (formerly of Trojan Sound System) record playing (Fridays)

  • Guided Black History walks

  • Reading group of Johnny Pitts Afropean

  • African Caribbean recipes (every Wednesday)

  • New map charting Hackney’s African and Caribbean history and culture.

For more information, see

Supported by Hackney Borough Council


Newham embraces the month with a mixture of online and live events, all free.

The month kicks off on 1 October with celebrated historian and TV personality David Olusoga discussing what Black Lives Matter means in the context of Black British history in conversation with award winning human rights campaigner, writer and artist, Zita Holbourne.

Other highlights include:

  • Long Play Liberation, a specially commissioned dance performance by Alan Moore (3, 10, 17 Oct)

  • Film screenings of Les Misérables, Black Panther, White Riot, African Apocalypse at Stratford East Picturehouse (8,11, 15, 22 Oct)

For more information, see

Supported by Newham Borough Council


Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets brings an assortment of community based arts, culture and heritage activities.

Highlights include:

  • Visions in the Nunnery: Programme 1, with Hetain Patel, Bow Arts (until 13 Dec)

  • Sounding Bethnal Green, musical traditions representing the diverse communities of Tower Hamlets, Grand Union (various)

  • Sean Baker’s Tangerine, indie comedy LA set and centring on two black transgender women, Genesis Cinema (15 Oct)

  • Purple Moon Drama x Black History Month, a youth film production

  • Digital talks and resources at Museum of London Docklands

  • East End History Club: Black Presence in Tower Hamlets (22 Oct)

For more information, see

Supported by Tower Hamlets Borough Council

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