Newham launches programme of Black History Month events

David Olusoga will be taking part in Newham's Black History Month programme. Picture: Ian West/PA

David Olusoga will be taking part in Newham's Black History Month programme. Picture: Ian West/PA - Credit: PA

Newham is set to mark Black History Month with a programme of events themed around strength, courage and determination.

The activities, running throughout October, are being launched with an online discussion about what the Black Lives Matter campaign means in the context of black British history.

Taking place at 7pm on Thursday, October 1, it will feature historian and television personality David Olusoga and facilitated by human rights campaigner Zita Holbourne.

Most of the events being held as part of Newham Council’s programme will take place online. Those that do take place in person will be held in a Covid-secure way and following government guidelines.

Councillor Charlene McLean, deputy mayor and cabinet lead for community neighbourhoods said; “This year it is more important than ever to recognise and learn about the history of black people in light of Black Lives Matter movement and the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on the black community.

“The programme will explore the adversity that black people have faced and how their strength, courage and determination has shaped society throughout history.”

She added: “It is also part of the council’s tackling racism, inequalities and disproportionality programme where we want Newham to become a beacon of social change and help all residents to be proud of their personal histories and local heritage.”

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Other virtual activities include author Sharmaine Lovegrove interviewing DJ Norman Jay about his new book on Saturday, October 31, while Newham-based author Joy White will be discussing her latest work on Wednesday, October 28.

Activities that can be attended in person include a specially commissioned dance performance called Long Play Liberation is set to take place at Newham Town Hall at 7pm on Saturday, October 3.

There will also be a screening of an updated Les Miserables film inspired by the 2005 Paris Riots, taking place at Stratford Picturehouse on Thursday, October 8. It will be followed by a question and answer session.

For information about Black History Month, visit