October marks the start of Black History Month and Wandsworth Council is putting on a programme of events that will be unrivalled compared to previous years.
Cllr Kemi Akinola is deputy leader of the Council and is of Grenadian and Nigerian heritage.
She said: “I’m very proud to be the first Black woman to be deputy leader of Wandsworth Council and to be launching what will be our best ever celebration of the achievements of Black people across the borough.
“We want to encourage people to learn about Black history which is British history. Even though this is usually celebrated during one month in October, we feel in Wandsworth that the accomplishments and culture of Black people should be recognised all year round – so this year we are doing Black History Month 365.”
Over the coming weeks the council will be hosting a series of events, including talks, workshops, art showcases, history, music, dance and food. It will also be shining a light on Black people within the community who are making a real difference for Wandsworth.
The theme this year is “Time for Change: Action Not Words”, emphasising that to get to a better tomorrow, we can’t just focus on the past. The past is in the past. We can acknowledge and learn from it, but to improve the future, we need action, not words. We need to come together around a shared common goal to achieve a better world for everyone.
Among the highlights will be
- A visit and talk from boxing legend Frank Bruno who grew up in Wandsworth
- A pop-up market at Southside celebrating black-owned businesses and what they have to offer
- Black Heroes Foundation event telling the story of John Archer, Battersea’s very own Black Hero
The range of activities on offer follow on from events that have been underway this year including:
- The Smiling Boys Project
- The story of Claudia Jones event linked to a schools programme
- The Black Heroes Foundation’s Flip Fraser exhibition
Cllr Akinola added: “This year everyone will enjoy our best ever celebration of Black history and culture, bringing people together to discuss issues that really affect the Black dispora and putting on a wide ranging programme of activities and events all across the borough..”