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Celebrate Black History Month in Tower Hamlets

10This October, make sure you don’t miss out on Black History Month in Tower Hamlets.
Tower Hamlets Council is putting on a huge programme of arts and cultural events to celebrate Black History Month.
Throughout October, there will be over 90 events across the borough for residents to engage with the richness of Black and Afro Caribbean arts, culture and heritage.
Black History Month has been running in Tower Hamlets for several years. Last year, Asha Luul Mohamoud, a university Student and poet, who attended some of the events said: “I felt that such environments symbolised the possibility of a better community and hope to a people who have come from troubled backgrounds.
“The organisers were due an earth-shaking applause for the incredible work that they had put together. In the long-term, I could see how the likes of Somali Week Festival would contribute to what we understand as an already existing multi-cultural society. This was an excellent initiative and I hope to see more of it in the future.”
This year’s highlights include:
•    Somali Week Festival – which has a programme including talks, performances, screenings, and an exhibition which analyse and celebrate Somali culture, tradition, and current affairs
•    Music from across Africa, including the exuberant sonic fusions of Congolese artists Lokito Ya Congo, Zambian-influenced Namvula, and ‘the golden voice of Africa’, Pat Thomas & the Kwashibu Area Band
•    Map of Me – a brand new production from Half Moon Theatre, which showcases one young girl’s journey, fleeing war in her own country, through baking hot African deserts to the snow angels of a UK winter
•    A celebration of 25 years of Tamasha – featuring discussions, readings, performances, and much more from their back catalogue of works.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, said: “Every year, Black History Month gets bigger and better. This is a really important part of the cultural calendar in Tower Hamlets. People come from far and wide to these events – and are genuinely impressed by the range of art forms and topics that can be found in this programme.”
Cllr Asma Begum, cabinet member for culture, added: “This year’s programme of events is really exciting. There’s something for everyone. I hope residents enjoy this fantastic programme, and I look forward to attending some of these events too!”
Chris Elwell, Director of Half Moon Theatre, said: “We are delighted to once again be involved in Black History Month. It is important for Half Moon to programme theatre for young audiences that is meaningful for our culturally rich and diverse local population and touches on contemporary issues.
“Map of Me was inspired by the real-life stories of young asylum seekers, but it takes you behind the headlines of this sensitive and challenging story in an entertaining and uplifting way. On Saturday, October 17 we are hosting an exciting series of free workshops and discussion exploring the issues raised in the play, and we are pleased that Tower Hamlets are supporting these events to help give a vital voice to young audiences.”
There are events for all ages and interests. Audiences will find something to entertain, engage, challenge and inform while they revel in the rich variety of Black History Month.