Black History Month events in London 2023

Events and Workshops

Introducing our Black History Month guide. To honour, promote and celebrate the rich contributions of the Black community. Here we have some of the fantastic events within London and locally taking place throughout this month.



Tracing Black Ancestry/Black History and Ancestry | Who do you think you are?

Location: The Library at Willesden Green 95 High Road London NW10 2SF
Date: 04/10/2023
Free -reserve a spot here 
Join Paul Crooks on a captivating journey to trace his African ancestors enslaved in the Caribbean during the Transatlantic slave trade. Discover the rich world of tracing Black ancestry with Paul Crooks, who provides practical guidance and invaluable resources for exploring your family’s history. This journey connects you with the past, deepening your understanding of both your heritage and broader history.



Wembley Park
Black History Month Celebration Day

Date: 14/10/2023
Location: The Yellow, Wembley Park, 55A Bridge Road,  HA9 9JS
Price : £2 book here
Time 4pm – 7pm
Join in, promote and celebrate Black contributions to society, and foster an understanding of Black history in Art, Fashion, Music, Dance and more! With powerful performances and displays from emerging artists in the local community. Artists will be able to express deep rooted issues in the black community that affected them directly and their triumphant journeys to overcome. Their live band will keep your feet tapping throughout the evening! We can’t wait to see you there.



Rush -A Joyous Jamaican Journey

Location: Troubadour, Wembley Park Theatre, 55A Bridge Road, Wembley HA9 9JS
Price: £20 book here
Time: 7:30pm – 11pm
Experience the vibrant sounds of ska, rock steady, calypso, gospel, lovers rock, dancehall, and live Reggae performed by the phenomenal JA Reggae Band. Get ready to groove to the tunes of legendary artists like Desmond Dekker, Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley, Millie Small, and many others.



Somali Sideways: In conversation with Author, Mohamed Mohamud

Date: 20/10/2023
Location: Harlesden Library Plus, Craven Park Road Harlesden NW10 8SE
Price: Free, book here
Join Nadia Khan as she interviews Mohamed Mohamud about his book ‘Somali Sideways: A Photobook in Changing Perceptions of the Somalis’. Somali sideways is a book and ground-breaking creative project created by a Somali for Somalis. It shares powerful, sad, funny and hopeful stories of Somalis in the UK and across the world. The book covers issues as complex and diverse as immigration and identity, but also deals in the normal flow of everyday lives.



Join Paul Crooke: Black Ancestry for Beginners

Date: 24/10/2023
Location; The Library at Willesden Green 95 High Road London NW10 2SF
Price: Free – book here 
Join Paul Crooks as he shares his expert knowledge on tracing roots and overcoming barriers in family history research. With his pioneering research into Black ancestry, Paul demonstrates how it is possible to trace forebears using only public records, offering valuable advice to those who are new to exploring family history or those who have experience and want to learn about other sources of information. Staff from Brent Archives will be on hand to explain how you can access Ancestry for free from the library and access materials held in our archives.



Tracing African Caribbean Ancestry |The 1817 Slave Registers Uncovered

Date: 24/10/2023
Location; The Library at Willesden Green 95 High Road London NW10 2SF
Price: Free – book here

Paul Crooks offers a talk where he shares his expertise in tracing Black history and ancestry through a deep dive into the origins of slavery registers. unearth his own family’s heritage and demonstrate their significance in supporting exploration into Black Ancestry, Black History, and self-esteem. It will gain a deeper appreciation of blending african history and ancestry, understanding how slavery register , personal narratives and backgrounds of individuals from the Caribbean and North America.


Rhythm and Moves: West African and Caribbean Dance Movement

Location: The Library at Willesden Green 95 High Road, NW10 2SF
Price: free 
Reserve a spot here
Come and take part in a lively and playful exploration of dance movement influenced by West Africa and the Caribbean. This class has been scheduled as part of our Black History Month programme. You will get the chance to dance to West African and Caribbean rhythms and try out different moves from these parts of the world. The session is open to all levels, is intergenerational and will focus participants’ attention on their rhythm, musicality and self -expression. In the session participants will get to hear traditional drumming from the Caribbean and West Africa, try out dance moves from there and practise short, fun choreography.



Diana Ross Story

Date: 1-2/10/2023
Location: Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BX
Price: from £32 book here
The World’s Premier show in celebration of DIANA ROSS and THE SUPREMES. Theatre audiences prepare to be taken on a spellbinding journey visiting one of the greatest musical stories ever told. A chronological history of hits from a career culminating in over 100 million record sales fronted by 2 international Diana Ross performers Cheri Jade (The Supremes) and Tameka Jackson (Solo Career). ‘Where Did Our Love Go’, ‘Baby Love’, ‘Stop in The Name of Love’, ‘Reflections’, ‘You Keep Me Hanging On’, ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’, ‘Stoned Love’, ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’, All of My Life’, ‘Touch Me In The Morning’, ‘Upside Down’, ‘My Old Piano’, ‘I’m Coming Out’, ‘Chain Reaction’, and so many more!



Speak On: Black Women’s Guide To Navigating & Thriving in the Workplace

Location: 1 Warwick 1 Warwick Street London W1B 5LR
Price: £12 book here
Speak On Panel Event that discusses the unique experiences, challenges, and triumphs of Black women in professional environments.
This event aims to shed light on the unique experiences, challenges, and triumphs of Black women in professional environments, while providing strategies for navigating and thriving in the workplace and business. Their panel and host Yolanda Copes-Stepney will share their personal stories, insights, and expertise on topics such as career advancement, overcoming systemic barriers, building supportive networks, and self-empowerment.



The Beat Goes On

Location:177-180 Piccadilly St James’s London W1J 9ER
Date: 14/10/2023
Price :Free book here
A vibrant, Black History Month celebration of Black culture through art, fashion and music in the heart of central London. This four-day exhibit showcases visionary creatives such as Caroline Chinakwe, Ade Hassan of Nubian Skin, Samson Soboye, and Donald Baugh. It provides a unique perspective on the fusion of culture, heritage, and innovation. While paying homage to ancestral legacies, the event also spotlights the contemporary momentum driven by Black British creatives.”The Beat Goes On” symbolises the enduring rhythm of resilience and progress within Black History. It’s a tribute to the legacy of ancestors and a recognition of the dynamic energy carried forward by today’s Black British creatives and innovators. Like the timeless beat of a drum, these visionary creators blend tradition with modernity, weaving intricate narratives that connect the past and the present.



Cugoano250: Julianknxx performance in Ode to Cugoano

Date: 14/10/2023
Location: St James’s Church, 197 Piccadilly, W1J 9LL
Price:  £5.28 book here
Julianknxx presents a special performance with choir songs which echo the notion of ‘flight’ in relation to Africa, coinciding with Frieze London and his exhibition Chorus in Rememory of Flight at Barbican. Julianknxx, the interdisciplinary artist, poet, and filmmaker, will present a significant performance in collaboration with a London-based community choir in ode to Quobna Ottobah Cugoano – the prominent abolitionist and historical figure in Black Britain. This choral performance forms part of a wider multi-artform cultural programme curated by Ekow Eshun commemorating the 250th anniversary of the baptism of Cugoano at St James’s.



Gerlin Bean: Mother of the Movement

Date: 14.10/2023
Location: Black Cultural Archives, 2A Saltoun Road, SW2 1EF
Price: £15 book here
The Black Cultural Archives will be hosting the book launch of Gerlin Bean: Mother of the Movement by AS Francis, published by Lawrence Wishart. This book recovers the neglected history of a key activist and community organiser in Britain’s Black radical movement. The event will feature a panel discussion with AS Francis, focusing on Gerlin Bean’s significant contributions to Black radical organising in the 1960s-1980s. The author will be joined by Stella Dadzie, author of Heart of the Race, and community historian Kelly Foster. It will be moderated by History Hotline podcaster, Deanna Lyncook. This is the first new title in Lawrence Wishart’s Radical Black Women Series.



Insights: Ballet And The Black Experience (suitable for all)

Date: 18/10/2023
Location: The Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9DD
Price: (Sold out) check back for returns here
Kenneth Tharp hosts an evening of discussion and performance centred around the experiences of challenging cultural barriers within the dance world. Dancers from The Royal Ballet come together with fellow creatives, to perform excerpts of their work and share their experiences of challenging cultural barriers and finding ways to ensure diversity is given an equal space and stage on which to thrive.



The Bald Brothers Tour Feat Tony Baker & Kevonstage

Date: 22/10/2023
Location: Her Majesty’s Theatre, Haymarket, SW1Y 4QL
Price: £34.70 book here
Comedians Tony Baker and KevOnStage also known as The Bald Brothers have announced a very special show at The London Palladium this October! Chicago native, stand up comedian/actor, Tony Baker has been making people laugh for nearly a decade, blessing stages around the world with his unique brand of humour and style.


Generations: Three Short Ballets

Date: 31/10/23 – 02/11/23
Location: The Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 9DD
Price: £15-£25 book here
Northern Ballet returns to the Linbury Theatre, presenting three works of outstanding contemporary ballet. With a mixed bill of three complementary works from across the generations, curated by Artistic Director and former Royal Ballet Principal Federico Bonelli. The programme includes Adagio Hammerklavier, a true contemporary classic from Dutch master Hans van Manen.



The Lexi Cinema -Black History Studies

A programme of films exploring vital aspects of Black history and culture
Location: 194b Chamberlayne Rd, NW10 3JU
The Lexi is proud to be partnered with Charmaine Simpson, founder and CEO of Black History Studies, for this immensely popular run of screenings. The events are lively and inclusive, with audience discussions exploring the film and the issues it raises, encouraging networking and inspiring debate. Everyone is welcome – but we suggest booking well in advance! Please note: The Black History Studies screenings occur periodically throughout the year at The Lexi Cinema, so keep checking their website to find out when their next screening is scheduled.



Black History Studies: Cassius X: Becoming Ali

Date: 15/10/2023
Location: The Lexi Cinema, 194b Chamberlayne Road, NW10 3JU
Price: adult: £15, concs: £14
CASSIUS X: Becoming Ali follows the early years of Cassius Clay, from bright-eyed rookie to world heavyweight champion and from working class intellectual to one of America’s most influential civil rights campaigners. The film reveals how the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, reinforced by a friendship with revolutionary preacher, Malcolm X, set Clay on the journey to become “Cassius X”, before his induction to the Nation of Islam and ascension to the name of the great Muhammad Ali. Charmaine Simpson, founder and CEO of Black History Studies, will be leading an informal discussion following this screening

Find out more about Black History Studies here


V&A Two Worlds Vanley Burke and Francis Williams

Date: until 31/12/2023
Location:Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL
Price: Free
Explore portraits of two Jamaican gentlemen scholars. Burke’s photography and archives, alongside historical artefacts and scientific images shedding new light on the Williams painting, invite reflections on quests for identity and colonial legacies.



V&A Windrush 75

Date: until 31/12/2023
Location:Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL
Price: Free
A season of events and displays marking the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the HMT Empire Windrush. Find out more about the Windrush generation, their legacies and the impact of the Caribbean on art, design and culture in Britain.



Natural History Museum – Black History Month Special Women in Science: Women of Colour Tour

Location: Cromwell Road London SW7 5BD
Price: free book here
Learning Volunteers will be offering free Women in Science: Women of Colour tours. Come and hear about a handful of wonderful scientists and their histories, find out about their inspirational work, their contributions to changing our understanding of life on earth and beyond.



Black History Month Exhibition ’50 PLAQUES & PLACES’

Date: Thurs,03/10/2023 – 11:00am – Fri, 27/10/12023 : 17:00pm
Location:34-35 Powis Square London W11 2AY
Price: Free book here
50 PLAQUES & PLACES is curated by Gloria Daniel and supported by SOAS School of Law, Gender and Media. The exhibition places a spotlight on 50 sites incontrovertibly tied to the transatlantic slave economy. Academics, Artists, Activists, Writers and African & Caribbean descendants including: SOAS University of London Professors Gina Heathcote & Vanja Hamzic, Artist Jade de Monserrat, Singer/Songwriter/Producer Dave Okumu, Writer Jody Burton, Alissandra Cummins of The Barbados Museum & Historical Society and The Black South West Network are some of the confirmed participants.



Building Brilliance: Black Britain and the West London Story

Date: 9/10/2023
Location:North Kensington Library, 108 Ladbroke Grove, W11 1PZ
Price: Free
Join Author Diego Ifé at his talk: He is a passionate and avid writer. He shares his lifelong pursuit of understanding Black identities and the Black experience in the diaspora. In his book Ethnic Escapism and the Black Burden he covers the following: The diaspora’s origins — including kidnapping and warfare that led to the Transatlantic Slave Trade; life on the plantation and the creation of creole cultures; Slave Rebellions sand Outcomes; Abolition Movements; Return to Africa Movements; Pan-Africanism; 20th Century race politics; the deep relationship between Popular Culture and Black identities; and ultimately what the future holds for the diaspora.



Legacies: London Transport’s Caribbean Workforce

Date: until 08/2024
Location: London Transport Museum, Covent Garden Piazza WC2E 7BB
Price: The exhibition is free with your Museum admission. Unlimited annual pass : adult: £24, cons: £23, Off peak Annual pass: £22. Kids go free.
This is a new exhibition celebrates the significant contributions of Caribbean people to transport in London and British culture. Visitors can explore the stories of individuals and their families who moved from the Caribbean to the UK, highlighting their struggles and triumphs. The exhibition features memories and experiences from first, second, and third-generation Caribbean individuals who have worked for London Transport (LT) or Transport for London (TfL).


‘The Missing Thread: Untold Stories of Black British Fashion’

Date: 21/09/2023 – 07/01/2024
Location: Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA
Price: £12/£9.50 conc 25 and under £5.00
This autumn, Somerset House explores the stories of Black British fashion in a major new exhibition, The Missing Thread, curated by the Black Orientated Legacy Development Agency (BOLD). Spanning from the 1970s to the present day, The Missing Thread charts the shifting landscape of Black British culture and the unique contribution it has made to Britain’s rich design history. It highlights the influential Black fashion designer Joe Casely-Hayford’s archive for the first time. It also features original works by contemporary Black designers like Nicholas Daley, Bianca Saunders, and Saul Nash, celebrating the legacy of Black creativity in British fashion.



The Black British Book Festival

Date: 27/10/23 – 28/10/23
Location: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX.
Price: vary from free to paid. check website
Founded by Selina Brown in 2021, this festival lauds the work of Black British authors across all genres and provides a platform for up-and-coming writers showcase the UK’s best Black authors – alongside leading content creators, influencers and journalists – the festival has partnered with major publishers including Pan Macmillan, Hachette, Penguin and SAGE. A couple of highlights are Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne Pinnock, on 27th October, and What’s Love Got To Do With It? Chidera Eggerue aka The Slumflower, Liv Little and chair Candice Brathwaite discuss love, relationships and self-empowerment, the 28th October. Fantastic and hugely popular, many of the events are sold out, but there are some events still with tickets available.



Black to the future

Date: Late October until Feb 2024
Location: across London
Price: prices vary – check website
BTTF, short for the Black Takeover Fantasy Festival, is a Afro-Futurist party for amazing Black artists. It kicks off in late October and keeps the vibe going until February 2024 during US Black History Month. It’s happening alongside the British Library’s “Fantasy: Realms of Imagination” exhibition. A new biennial hybrid Art festival, curated by Irenosen Okojie MBE, working with the Royal Society of Literature and the British Library to make it happen. It’s all about celebrating creativity and imagination! A couple of highlights are the screening of Neptune Frost + Intro(age 15 plus), a radical Afro-futurist sci-fi punk musical about a daring intersex hacker is visually stunning and thematically rich. Also Late at the Library: Drexciyan Realms, on the 3rd Nov. With Dopplereffekt live and special guests, a night of electronic music, art and fantasy inspired by the extraordinary vision of Drexciya, whose futuristic sound was entwined with an alternate Black history and mythology.


Click here : For information on more events happening across London


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