Headway East London celebrates Black History Month

Posted: October 5, 2022

This year we are excited to be celebrating Black History Month with a wide range of activities and events exploring Black culture, creating spaces to share stories and food, and reflect on how to better support and celebrate our diverse community of members, staff and volunteers at Headway East London. 

The history of Black communities’ arrival in the UK is often a story of long journeys across continents. With the help of a giant world map called Mapping the Movement – created in our Submit to Love Studio – members are invited to share their families and ancestors’ stories, marking their journeys on the map and recollecting memories from their unique experiences. 


Mapping the Movement at Headway East London


Music is a key part of our daily life here at Headway East London, and this month we will be celebrating with our weekly Record Club being dedicated to Black artists; an outing to the Museum of London to see their latest exhibition, Grime Stories: from the corner to the mainstreamand workshops led by visiting artists: musician and university lecturer Sara McGuinness on Cuban music, and guitar player Muntu Valdo on music from Cameroon. We expect energetic rhythms, soulful music and lots of dancing! 


Headway East London member, Margie, rehearsing for a performance at jazz Café OTO, July 2022


Our popular supper club Headway Eats will be back with a special edition dedicated to celebrating our member Cecil, who travelled from Guyana to Liverpool as a stowaway and has been a member of Headway East London for almost twenty years. Cecil is an active member of the Submit to Love art studio and we will showcase his artworks as well as hearing about his life story and adventures first hand. You can book your tickets to join us here. The team will also be cooking delicious meals inspired by African and Caribbean cuisine through out the month for our members, staff and volunteers.


Headway Eats – Celebrating Cecil – Thursday 20th October – Book now! 


The theme for Black History Month this year is Time for Change: Actions not words, so as well as a range of activities we’re asking members, volunteers and staff to tell us the actions they’d like us to take as an organisation to show our commitment to Black History and our wider goal of inclusion. 


About Black History Month 

Every October since the 1980s, Black History Month has been celebrated in the UK as a time to recognise and celebrate the contribution of Black people in the UK, and to learn about the history, culture and traditions of Black communities around the world. 

Historically in the UK we have learnt only about white history at school. We don’t learn about slavery, colonisation, and the way that Black people have been treated for generations through history. 

Black History Month gives us an important opportunity to redress this, by learning and understanding more about Black people’s experiences and history. 

Black people have influenced lots of aspects of life in the UK and made the country what it is today: they have fought in the British army, become politicians, musicians, artists, celebrities as well as doctors, nurses and teachers.  When we needed people in the UK after the World War II, we invited people from the West Indies to come to our rescue by working and settling in the UK. 

However, Black people still get treated differently and experience inequality in many areas of their life in this country.  For example, Black people were more likely to die from Covid and generally experience greater health inequalities than white people in the UK. 

We are fortunate to live in a multi-cultural society with people of all colours and heritage from across the world.  Not everywhere in the UK is like this, and enjoys the diversity that we pride ourselves on in East London. 

Black History Month is a vital part of stamping out racism, by making sure that people are valued for who they are and the contribution they bring, rather than the colour of their skin – and we are proud to celebrate it at Headway East London. 

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Posted: 01/11/2022

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