A sneak peak of what's in store for Black History Season in Hackney

Contributors to the BRAFA charity single outside Hive Studio in Stoke Newington in 1985.

Contributors to the BRAFA charity single outside Hive Studio in Stoke Newington in 1985. - Credit: David Corio

The borough's upcoming Black History Season programme has been announced, and highlights include the unveiling of the UK's first ever permanent public art work honouring the Windrush generation. 

Hackney's Black communities and heroes will be celebrated from September to December this year. 

Cllr Carole Williams, portfolio holder for employment, skills and human resources, said: “Over the next few months, I welcome everyone across the borough to join us as we not only make history, but also share, enjoy and learn from a history that belongs to us all.

“The past 18 months have been extraordinarily challenging for everyone. They have also revealed the extent of structural racism and the life-limiting impact it has, as well as the need to honour the legacy and the vital contributions Black people bring to Hackney."

Professor Hakim Adi.

Professor Hakim Adi, the first person of African heritage to become a professor of history in Britain, will be hosting a talk at Hackney Museum. - Credit: Hackney Council

To mark the start of the season, artist Veronica Ryan has been creating a series of large marble and bronze sculptures, representing Caribbean fruit and vegetables. 

Her sculptures are inspired by childhood visits to Ridley Road Market and will be placed by St. Augustine's Tower in central Hackney, next month.

The season, which has been called Hackney Black History In The Making, will also commemorate the renaming of Cassland Road Gardens to Kit Crowley Gardens


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The renaming was part of the council's work to review public spaces named after people who profited from the transatlantic slave trade, which includes John Cass - a major figure at the Royal Africa Company.  

There will also be a ceremony to officially open BRAFA Square in Shoreditch, a moniker which pays tribute to the British Reggae Artists Famine Appeal team.

And, Future Hackney community project's second street photo exhibition Ridley Road Stories part 2, will showcase the lives of Hackney's Caribbean and African residents.

Future Hackney Ridley Road Stories Part 2 will launch on September 24. 

Future Hackney Ridley Road Stories Part 2 will launch on September 24. - Credit: Wayne Crichlow

The season will feature many more events including a Being African in Hackney exhibition and poetry workshops.

In addition, a Black History flag, designed by Year 9 Urswick School pupil Malaika Parillon Langlais Baron in 2018 will also fly above Hackney Town Hall in October.

Hackney Black History Season poster 2021. 

Hackney Black History Season poster 2021. - Credit: Hackney Council

Hackney’s community groups and businesses marking Black History Season are invited to submit their events for a spot in the festival programme. 

Find out more at LoveHackney.com/BlackHistorySeason 

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