Reclaiming Black History - Should we cancel Black History Month? Cover Image



Reclaiming Black History - Should we cancel Black History Month?

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  • A panel discussion questioning the necessity of BHM, the underrepresentation of Black History in London and where we go from here.

    Reclaiming Black History - Should we cancel Black History Month?

    In recent years, October has been the only time of year that the UK reflects on Black History. If we are to build a wider dialogue about our past, we will have to begin by admitting that society has not adequately represented the richness of our audiences.

    We are at a critical point in society, and this year alone has provided us with a huge opportunity to re-examine the past and ensure we are providing greater representation of London’s history. How do we tell the forgotten stories of history’s hidden figures? How do we encourage a broader variety of perspectives from our curators, researchers, scholars and educators?

    How do we reclaim spaces and ensure that they are open for all Londoners? Has diversity devolved into a business? And what does diversity really mean? What are we being diverse from?

    This event will explore these questions and more, to consider what needs to come next. How do we get to a point where we are representing a culture that is reflective of London, and how do we ensure that Black History is celebrated 365 days of the year?


    Panelists :

    Gaika Tavares - British visual artist, rapper and producer, GAIKA, whose work fuses black club music culture with visual arts and political theory to create works that defy conventional categorisation. Gaika has opened a new installation at House of St Barnabas called Flight Recorder which has been commissioned in response to House of St Barnabas’ links to Slavery.

    Barby Asante - is a London based artist, curator, educator and occasional DJ. Her work is concerned with the politics of place, spatial memory and the histories and legacies of colonialism. Asante’s work is collaborative, performative and dialogic, often working with groups of people as contributors, collaborators or co-researchers.

    Robert Beckford - is a British academic theologian and currently Professor of Black Theology at The Queen's Foundation. Beckford has also made films for the BBC analysing religion and Britain's colonial history, focusing on the role of Britain's African Caribbean community.

    Lavinya Stennet - Lavinya is a historian, writer and recent First Class graduate from SOAS, and founder of Black Curriculum - a social enterprise working to teach and support the teaching of Black history all year round.

    Natalie Russell - is Head of Delivery at The Black Curriculum, a social enterprise working to teach and support the teaching of Black history all year round. Natalie previously worked as a teacher, where she experienced first-hand the way in which the curriculum fails to recognise the historic and current contributions of black people. Natalie joined The Black Curriculum to support the drive to create a more racially literate and accurate national curriculum.

    Hosted by: Antionette Peters-Adenle - Antoinette leads on the House of St Barnabas Better Work project and works as part of the progression team. Antoinette supports Employment Academy graduates with 6 months’ employment into Better Work and helps them to get closer to creating and realising their career goals. Before the House of St Barnabas, Antoinette worked as a career coach for over 15 years, supporting clients across London access flexible, London Living Wage employment. Antoinette is also a Deputy Registrar.


    Part of House of St Barnabas’ new cultural programme, the event hopes to provide a challenging, thought-provoking and radical forum for debate around one of the most vital issues facing museums and cultural spaces in the UK and globally.

    The event will last for 1.5 hours including 30 minutes for questions from the audience. Questions for the panel can be sent beforehand to

    Please Note: This will be a digital event, this ticket will give you access to the live stream. Attendees will be emailed the streaming link before the event goes live.


    The life changing work of The House of St Barnabas wouldn’t be possible without the generous donations of those who enjoy our club. We ask for a suggested donation of £5 from attendees at our events to help support our Employment Preparation Programme; working together we can break the cycle of homelessness.

    The House of St Barnabas is a charity whose vision is to create a future where lasting work is a reality for people affected by homelessness and social exclusion. Participants in our Employment Academy are given work placements throughout our not-for-profit members' club, enabling them to gain valuable work experience in a vibrant, inclusive and culturally driven space and City&Guilds awards in Hospitality or Business and Administration.


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