Havering celebrates Black History Month

Published: Monday, 4 October 2021

Havering Council is proud to celebrate Black History Month with a range of events and activities planned throughout October 2021.

Black History Month is an annual celebration of the history, achievements and contributions of Black people in the UK, it officially commenced in Havering on Friday 1 October 2021 at a flag raising ceremony at Havering Town Hall.

The flag raising ceremony was attended by The Mayor, Councillor John Mylod, Andrew Blake-Herbert, Chief Executive of Havering Council and representatives from the Council’s Blacks, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff forum.

There, a unique flag designed by forum member Marilyn Howell was unveiled to commemorate the start of celebrations.

One of the key elements incorporated in Marilyn’s flag design is the Sankofa bird, which symbolises the retrieval of something that had been overlooked, discarded or left behind.

The Sankofa bird has, for many years, been globally recognised as the symbol for Black History Month and again this is reflected in the Havering creation.

At the ceremony, a minute silence was observed at 11am to reflect on the past and present racism encountered by BAME people across Britain.

Havering Council’s BAME staff forum will be leading the internal celebrations via a programme of educational and interactive activities.

These will be inclusive sessions available to all colleagues of all cultural backgrounds to come celebrate, learn and reflect on experiences shared by Black peers.

Black History Month is also being celebrated publically through the following key events and activities.

  • Thursday 7 October 2021 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm via Zoom – National Poetry Day – a themed celebration of BHM (Adults) by Havering Libraries. Tolu’ A. Akinyemi is a multi-award-winning author in the genre of poetry, short story, children’s literature and essays. Email libraryevents@havering.gov.uk to book a free place.
  • Wednesday 20 October 2021 from 10.30am to 11.30am – Vanessa J Taylor and her bestselling book ‘Baller Boys’ will be hosting a Zoom event (not open to the public) with approx. 210 classes attending from Havering schools from Year 3 or Year 4.

The Leader of Havering Council, Damian White, said: 

“Our Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities have contributed so much to making Havering a great place to live and work.

“It’s an honour to celebrate and raise the profile of Black History Month. I wish to give special mention to the Council’s BAME forum for their efforts in showcasing a great variety of events and activities this year.

“Last year the council had to mark Black History Month mainly online so it’s good that we have organised a range of live events and activities people can attend and get involved in.

"Please take part and support Black History Month in our borough.”