Black History Month Events In London 2023

Black History Month Events In London 2023

October is Black History Month in the UK — a chance to learn about Black creatives, heroes, and campaigners from the past, as well as be inspired by the Black figures and industries of today. There's a whole lot going on in London — we've picked some highlights.

Black History Month London: A portion of a Black History tube map
A Black History tube map. Image: TfL

Black History Month walks and talks

A young man in a smart blue suit poses in front of a glassy building
Randall Goosby performs music from three Black composers at Southbank Centre. Image: Kaupo Kikkas

Black History Month music, theatre film and comedy

  • Croydon's Fairfield Halls screens the 2021 film Respect, about the life and times of the great Aretha Franklin (4 Oct)
  • Young violinist Randall Goosby teams up with pianist Zhu Wang, to perform music from three Black composers (Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, William Grant Still and Florence Price) at the Southbank Centre (13 Oct)
  • A slew of great Black comedians — including Richard Blackwood, Slim and Rudi Lickwood — raise the roof at Hackney Empire's Pioneers of Comedy shebang (21 Oct)
  • The legendary PP Arnold (of The First Cut is the Deepest fame) performs at Boisdale of Canary Wharf (25 Oct)
  • Catford's Broadway Theatre puts on two Windrush 75 shows in one, with a staging of The Front Room: a Windrush Legend — followed by music from the era played live by the The Freedom Band UK (28 Oct)
Black History Month London: A poster for the inilford food festival

Black History Month markets and fairs

A woman in bright Nigerian clothes riding a horse down a high street
Lagos, Peckham, Repeat is on until 29 October. © Adeyemi Michael

Black History Month exhibitions

  • Coinciding with the release of Atinuke and Kingsley Nebechi's book Brilliant Black British History, there's a free exhibition at Brixton's Black Cultural Archives (5 October-28 Jan)
  • Lagos, Peckham, Repeat is on right now at Camberwell's South London Gallery, and explores Peckham's identity as 'Little Lagos'. It's free. (Until 29 October)
  • Claudette Johnson, a founding member of the Black British Arts Movement, is the focus of the current exhibition on at the Courtauld Gallery — Claudette Johnson: Presence is a retrospective showing off 30 years' of her large-scale drawings of Black men and women. (Until 14 Jan)
  • St James' Piccadilly has just unveiled a set of artworks by Trinidad-based artist Che Lovelace, dedicated to Quobna Ottobah Cugoano, a former enslaved man, who ended up living in London and campaigning against slavery. It's free to go and see them, and they're a permanent installation.

Londonist on Black history

Black History Month London: Britain's first black train driver: a Black man leans from the cab of a steam train
The UK's first Black train driver, Wilston Samuel Jackson.

Check out our articles on Black history in London:

Last Updated 27 September 2023

Continued below.