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Black History Lewisham 365

Find out how you can get involved in celebrating Lewisham's Black History.

Black History Month runs nationally every October to commemorate the history, achievements and contributions of black communities in the UK.

There are many events taking place in Lewisham that celebrate the history, learning, talents and ideas of our black communities during the month of October and beyond. Lewisham Council are proud to launch a year-round commitment which acknowledges the legacies and contributions of our black communities: Black History Lewisham 365.

Black History Lewisham 365 will explore Black history and culture during the month of October and beyond as we enter 2022 as London's Borough of Culture.

Proud To Be challenges

The theme for this year’s Black History Month is ‘Proud To Be’. To celebrate, we will set four challenges for Lewisham communities to take part in during the month of October.

Art challenge 

We are joining forces with Be Seen Be Heard youth forum to give young residents the chance to tap into their inner Chris Ofili, with a lucky few chosen to have their masterpieces displayed in a public exhibition.

Submission criteria:

  • Age 16-24

  • Based in Lewisham

  • Open to all art forms

  • One artwork per artist. Group submissions and collectives permitted.

Deadline: Sunday 31st October.

Submissions received digitally at beseenbeheardse14@gmail.com.

For more information, visit the Be Seen Be Heard Instagram page.

Music challenge

Delivered in partnership with BeatsLab LDN, we are inspiring young people aged 10 and above to unleash their musical talents by making beats, rapping or writing songs with the opportunity to take part in a live performance. 

Workshops will take place during October half term at Grove Park Youth Club, in partnership with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation.

Sign up on the Rio Ferdinand Foundation website.

For more information, visit the BeatsLab LDN Instagram page.

Writing challenge

Primary and secondary aged school children will use poetry to explore the Proud To Be theme. Winning entries will receive a selection of new books for their school library. 

Details of the competition will be shared with Primary and Secondary schools via the Lewisham Service for Schools website.

Cookery challenge

We are collecting recipes and encouraging residents of all ages to share their signature dishes, whether passed down through the generations, firm family favourites or new creations. 

Do you have a recipe you'd like to share? Email it to proudtobe@lewisham.gov.uk

Deadline: 31st October 2021

Film challenge

Last but not least we are encouraging all Black residents to share their pride in their heritage and culture by uploading a short video clip. This challenge is for all ages to get involved in.  

Tell us what you're proud of in one sentence.

Send your video to proudtobe@lewisham.gov.uk

Deadline 31st October 2021.

Entrees received permit for videos to be shared on Lewisham Council's website and social media channels.

Lewisham Libraries

Lewisham Libraries will be celebrating throughout the month with a range of free events including storytelling, arts and crafts packs, interviews and book recommendations.

Find out more and book tickets by visiting the Lewisham Libraries Facebook page, the Lewisham Libraries Youtube channel or the Lewisham Libraries Instagram.

Crafting for the family

Saturday 2 October, 2pm–3pm

Deptford Library

Enjoy outdoor games and crafts at this family friendly activity suitable for children aged 3+.

Andreena Leanne poetry reading

Saturday 16 October, 2pm–3pm.

Deptford Library

Andreena Leanne speaks about her journey and raises awareness of her poetry collection CHARRED.

Register for a free ticket.

Storytelling for under 5s

Saturday 16 October, 11am–11.30am

Downham Library

Songs, rhymes and stories that celebrate Black History. Suitable for under 5s.

Interview with Jody Burton, co-author of Black London

Saturday 30th October, 2pm–3pm.

Deptford Library

Jody is a resident of Lewisham who, with co-author Avril Nanton, has produced a Black History tour guide. Black London: History, Art and Culture in Over 120 Places was published on Windrush Day 2021.

Register for a free ticket.

Events and activities in the community

Blue History Month

Sunday 3rd October, 11am–5pm

Goldsmith's University

Blue History Month celebrates the legacy and contributions of black talent in Lewisham during the day with live music, fashion, art and a Q&A with Saxon Sound.

View the flyer here or visit the Blue History Month Instagram.

Black Third Sector: The Legacy

Monday 4th October, 9.30am–1pm


Stories of buildings, African and Caribbean trailblazers, their services and activities back in the day and their legacy. Share yours too.

Register your free ticket.

Breakfast Clubs Against Racism

Every Saturday, 25 September–4 December

St Laurence Community Centre, Catford

Lewisham residents aged 10-13 are invited to these sessions that explore anti-racism, black history and empowerment. In each session, young people will be encouraged to discuss and reflected to help them digest big topics such as ‘How To Be a Leader’ and ‘Exploring Privilege’

Parents and students can register their interest by emailing hello@breakfastclubsagainstracism.co.uk

SING A BOOK Celebrates Black History Month

Saturday 28 October, 6.30pm–9.30pm

Goldsmiths Community Centre

SING A BOOK invite you to celebrate Black History Month at this fundraising performance show.

Buy tickets or reserve a performance slot.

Mary Martin London exhibition

Throughout October

Broadway Theatre, Catford

Multi award winning fashion artist, Mary Martin London displays her couture dresses in Lewisham's Broadway Theatre. Inspired by history and ancestry, Mary's dresses tell stories of African queens, music and the environment.

View Mary Martin's work on her website or Instagram page.

Ryan Hawaii exhibition

Throughout October

Broadway Theatre, Catford

Catford-born artist, musician and designer Ryan Hawaii creates a bespoke piece of art to be displayed in Lewisham’s Broadway Theatre.

Alternating between fashion, visual art and music, Hawaii’s world is full of symbolic forms and candid self-expression. Known for his iconic illustrations, colourful one of one clothing and an ever present one eyed figure, Hawaii is as authentic as his artwork suggests. From exhibitions and collaborations, to linking up with the likes of Skepta and Virgil Abloh, Hawaii’s recognisable style will be shared with Lewisham’s public.

View Ryan Hawaii's work on his website or Instagram page.

Projection on the Broadway Theatre Catford

Film footage, photographs and stories celebrating our diverse community will be projected on the Broadway Theatre management office window for the month of October, from dusk till late.

Other online events and resources