Celebrating Black Excellence this Black History Month

1 October 2021

Black History Month 2021 kicks off today with an exciting programme of activities celebrating Black excellence and this year’s theme, Proud to be.

From a solo play exploring the life and death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, to a live cook-along with the “Vegan Nigerian”, to a panel discussion with Dawn Butler MP and Kandace Chimbiri’s Afro hair workshop – there will be something for everyone this October.

All events are free, virtual and open to all.

Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council, said “Black History Month is a time to remember Black communities’ tremendous contribution to Brent and the UK and to celebrate Black history, heritage, achievement and culture. Our line-up of events captures this perfectly.

“In Brent, our diversity is our strength. But we cannot be blind to the inequities that still exist. That’s why we have committed to working with the community to tackle racism and create a fairer and more equal Brent through the Black Community Action Plan. If you want to find out more about how you can get involved, please get in touch.”

Check out the exciting line-up of events

  • Main Event: ‘Celebrating Black Excellence – Proud To Be…’ (Thursday 21 October, 12-2.30pm): This year's annual Black History Month celebration event will be held virtually and will celebrate the achievements of historical and present local, professional black and ethnic minority people and organisations, whilst raising awareness of issues still faced by our communities. There will be a combination of speakers, music and performances. On the panel will be Dawn Butler MP; founder of United Borders, Justin Finlayson and Cllr Wilhelmina Murray. Book now.
  • Dream of a King by Christopher Tajah (Thursday 7 October, 12-2pm): Join us online for a virtual screening of ‘Dream of a King’ a solo–play about the life of the iconic Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Book now.
  • The Story of Afro Hair (Thursday 14 October, 12-2pm): Using the research behind her latest book, Kandace Chimbiri will show what hairstyles worn over thousands of years tell us about Black history. Book now.
  • Uncovering the History of Black British Mariners (Tuesday 19 October, 6.30-7.30pm): Join author S.I. Martin to find out why seamen were needed on Royal Navy ships throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, their diverse origins and their impact on Black culture and politics. Book now.
  • Bookclub Review: Imperfect Arrangements by Frances Williams Mensah, CBE (Thursday 28 October, 12-2pm): Led by the author herself, this book club session will explore the book's key themes of culture, sisterhood and the complexity of relationships. Book now.
  • Live Jollof Rice Cook-along (Thursday 28 October, 6-7pm): Grab your pot, and join the "Vegan Nigerian" Chef, Tomi Makanjuola online, as we cook Jollof Rice and Plantain right from your kitchen. Book now.
  • Black Poppies - Britain’s Black Community and the Great War (Thursday 11 November, 6.30-7.30pm): Join author Stephen Bourne and explore the military and civilian wartime experiences of Britain's black community during the Great War. Book now.

Find out more and sign-up

To find out more and sign-up to attend a Black History Month event, please visit the dedicated Eventbrite page.

If you have any questions or comments, please email BlackHistoryMonth@brent.gov.uk.

To find out more about the Brent Black Community Action plan, please email BlackCommunityActionPlan@brent.gov.uk.