Cllr Linda Lusingu at Grahame Park Estate, Colindale
Barnet residents will have the opportunity to celebrate Black History Month (BHM) as never before, with Barnet Council funding community events for the first time. During October, more than 20 BHM public events and exhibitions will take place across the borough, with scores of schools also set to mark the month too.
Now in its 35th year, BHM recognises and celebrates the contributions of Black people to the economic, cultural and political life in the UK.
In July, Friern Barnet ward’s Cllr Linda Lusingu’s motion called on the council to mark the occasion every year and to work with Barnet’s diverse communities to promote a programme of events co-designed with schools, council officers and communities.
Cllr Linda Lusingu said: “Black History Month is a wonderful way to celebrate the work of local community groups and organisations that support minority ethnic groups across our borough.
“We are pleased to fund a number of amazing community events and to work with our partners to stage many more activities and exhibitions. This will be the first time we have meaningfully marked BHM in Barnet and we intend to make our celebrations bigger and brighter every year.”
“This is just the first step of many we are taking to promote diversity and show that we care about everyone in Barnet. We will put equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of everything we do to create a fairer and equitable borough for all.”
One of the event organisers, Jacqueline Adu-Sarkodie, Director/Founder of Black Books Matter UK, said:
“Black Books Matter UK are thrilled to be continuing our work in Barnet. Our mission is to create a space to educate, express, and evolve, while creating space for the diverse world we live in through the power of books.
“Receiving the Black History Month fund is allowing us to do our first open workshop for young people in the community.”
Black History Month was first celebrated in 1987. Akyaaba Addai-Sebo, who worked as special projects coordinator for the Greater London Council, is credited with planning and organising the first one in the country.
Recommending the events across the borough, Cllr Lusingu said: “I’d encourage everyone to try and make it along to at least one of the events taking place over the next month in the community and especially our local libraries to learn more about black history - sharing history gives a sense of our shared humanity and a greater understanding of each other”.
To find BHM events that are happening near you, and to see the full programme, visit: Celebrating Black History Month in Barnet | Engage Barnet