Camden walking tours planned for Black History Season

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Camden Council is marking Black History Month with walking tours - Credit: Alan Hovell

Two guided walks have been organised by Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre for the first time, as part of the council's second Black History Season. 

Black History Month officially begins today (October 01), and the council calls the campaign an opportunity "for the Black African and Caribbean diaspora to show pride in who they are, their rich culture and history and the contributions they’ve made to Camden’s vibrant diversity".

The walks, which cover Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia, are divided into Northern and Southern routes and are scheduled to take place on October 2 and November 6 respectively. 

They will be led by guide and part-time London South Bank University lecturer Alan Hovell. 

Alan, 68, told the Ham&High: “Black History Month is about relating places to stories and linking them with people’s sense of place and identity. 


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“We’ve had so many important people both living and working in London and it’s important to continually raise visibility because Black history has been largely airbrushed from conventional history teaching.

“When people walk with people, they talk and hear others’ experiences. It helps create a sense of community awareness. We all have inherent biases and walking is a good way of overcoming it.”

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The walks will touch on Black history in the borough spanning from the 18th century to the present day.

Highlights of the northern route include places connected to musician Paul Robeson and former slave Olaudah Equiano, both of whom are known for their anti-racism activism.

The southern route will explore the first Black headteacher in London, Beryl Gilroy, as well the contribution of African nurses to the survival of the health services in Britain during the 1950s and 1960s.

Figures including Asquith Xavier, Prince Monalulu, Islington-born Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, and many more will be discussed on the tours.

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Black History Month is an annual campaign in October - Credit: Alan Hovell

Both walks are fully booked but more free tickets will be made available closer to the tour dates.

Alan, who is part of Camden Tour Guides Association and Not Just Camden, has previously also led popular walks for Black Lives Matter. 

Two additional walks will take place in November and December for Camden’s first Black mayor, Sabrina Francis.

The walks will be based around the theme of families and children, with all proceeds going towards the mayor’s nominated charity, Gingerbread, which supports single-parent families.

Walking tour tickets can be bought at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/black-history-month-walks-in-camden-borough-tickets-176134401737

More Black History Season events happening in Camden can be found at www.lovecamden.org/blackhistoryseason

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