Black History Month is about to get under way in Croydon with the launch of a programme this evening to recognise and celebrate the contribution of the borough’s African and Caribbean population.
The theme this year, which will be launched today (30 September) at Norbury High School for Girls, is Time for Change: Action not Words. The month-long programme is being run by Croydon BME Forum in partnership with Croydon Council, Croydon Health Services NHS Trust and other local partners.
Black History Month is an annual national celebration and recognition of the impact that African and Caribbean culture has had on our society. In Croydon, there will be a host of virtual and in-person events and activities to educate and entertain residents throughout the month of October.
The programme of events ranges from biographical accounts of migration to the UK from the West Indies, to health and wellbeing webinars.
A highlight includes the Challenging Black Stereotypes in Mainstream Media webinar. This in-depth session will feature distinguished journalists, broadcasters and film-makers including Sir Trevor Phillips OBE, Shingi Mararike and Clare Anyiam-Osigwe. Together they will explore whether the increased presence of black people in the media has had a positive impact on how they are portrayed in news and other mediums.
In addition to events put on by the BME Forum, there are a range of other events and mediums to engage with throughout the month. For example, Fairfield Halls is hosting a programme of thought-provoking film and performances for the month – you can visit the Fairfield Halls events page for more information.
The Museum of Croydon will also be sharing their learning resource that details Croydon’s history of black cultural excellence in music and much more.
Croydon libraries will also have a wide range of physical books, e-books and audiobooks to borrow for free for anyone interested in learning more about black culture.
The Croydon Clocktower cafe will host a book launch and signing with local author and member of Croydon Writers, Juliana Oladuti on October 15. The novel titled Queen tells the story of a bright child who undertakes an odyssey through West and North Africa and eventually to Europe.
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon said: “During Black History Month Croydon takes huge pride in coming together to recognise and celebrate the contribution of our African and Caribbean communities to life in our borough.
“In line with this year’s theme Action not Words, I’d like to ask all our local organisations and businesses to adopt Croydon’s George Floyd Race Matters pledge. Developed by our communities and our council working together, this pledge sets out action we can all take to stand united against racism, and make Croydon a fairer and more inclusive place for all.”
Andrew Brown, CEO of Croydon BME Forum said: “The theme for Black History Month this year is Time for Change, Actions not words. I’m pleased to be working with Croydon Council, Croydon NHS Trust and the rest of our partners to celebrate Black culture in Croydon and the massive contribution to our wonderful multicultural society. The theme this year is a powerful one because we’ve seen in recent years that all over the world that change is needed, and in Croydon, it starts right here with us. Leading by example to change Croydon for the better for all our communities.”