Stoke Newington charity puts on Windrush week for Black History Month

A Windrush suitcase. 

A Stoke Newington charity is putting on its first Windrush Week for Black History Month this October. - Credit: Hackney council

A local charity is marking Black History Month with its first ever Windrush week full of free events and activities celebrating African and Caribbean communities in Hackney.

The Claudia Jones Organisation, in Stoke Newington, is hosting the events throughout the Windrush week, which will run from October 4-10 for Black History Month in October

The charity was established in 1982 and primarily supports and empowers women and families of African and Caribbean heritage from in and around the borough. 

Subira Cameron-Goppy, Windrush coordinator at the Claudia Jones Organisation, encouraged people to get involved. 

Subira Cameron-Goppy,  Windrush coordinator at the Claudia Jones Organisation.

Subira Cameron-Goppy, Windrush coordinator at the Claudia Jones Organisation. - Credit: Claudia Jones Organisation

She added: “Our charity has represented the African Caribbean community in Hackney for almost 40 years so it’s very important to us that their history and contribution to this country is recognised and celebrated.

"The community had a huge impact on the cultural landscape of Hackney and across the UK and we were also pivotal in helping to rebuild the country during the post war years."


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Subira said that when people think about Black history they tend to focus on slavery or the civil rights movement in the US.

"But the history and contribution of people from British African Caribbean backgrounds is rarely acknowledged."

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The week will include free educational workshops for local people and primary schools, an art competition, and a Black History Month themed party and quiz. 

Online workshops will look at the history and impact of the Black Power movement in the UK and the life of prominent African Caribbean racial justice campaigners, such as Darcus Howe and Alethia Jones who were both recently portrayed in the Steve McQueen film Mangrove.

People of all ages are welcome, both in-person and online, and workshops are available for primary school age children.

They include free resources to support teachers to develop lesson plans on British African Caribbean history.

Subira adds that schools will benefit from the week's workshops which aim to teach children to "understand and be proud of achievements from their ethnic minority communities", achievements she says, are "often missed out of the national curriculum". 

"This is especially important for children of ethnic minority heritage so they know their lives and stories matter too, which will help create and reinforce a positive sense of identity and belonging in British society," Subira added. 

Windrush Week will also celebrate the Windrush generation who arrived in the UK from Caribbean countries between 1948 and 1970, highlighting prominent local figures such as writer and activist CLR James and the founder of the Notting Hill Carnival and charity namesake, Claudia Jones.

The Claudia Jones Organisation is also inviting pupils from schools which sign up to the workshops to enter a Windrush art competition, which runs until the end of October.

Children in primary school years four and five will be asked to create artwork inspired by the Windrush generation.

Winners will receive prizes for themselves and their school and will also see their artwork on display in the Claudia Jones Organisation head office in Stoke Newington.

The charity is also taking over the Instagram account for Caricom UK (@caricom_ldn) where it will be discussing Claudia Jones’ legacy on October 7. 

The week-long celebration builds on the work the organisation has been doing to assist victims of the Windrush scandal, which saw British citizens of mainly Caribbean heritage denied rights and services, and threatened with deportation or wrongly deported from the UK by the Home Office. 

Last year, the charity launched the Windrush Justice Clinic with university law clinics, law centres and community groups to provide free legal advice service to assist victims of the Windrush scandal in their fight for compensation.

Claudia Jones Organisation chair Janet Campbell. 

Claudia Jones Organisation chair Janet Campbell. - Credit: Supplied

Janet Campbell, Claudia Jones Organisation chair, said: “Due to our strong ties with the community, we are well positioned to help run the service and are determined that victims get the compensation they deserve.”

The Black History Month themed quiz will take place on October 10. Tickets can be booked by clicking here.

To sign up to the quiz and workshops contact windrushcoordinator@claudiajones.org

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