Colour-coded divisions over Black History Month events

It surely cannot be deliberate, since Croydon Council’s press and publicity department is too ham-fisted to organise itself so well.

Rastamouse: that's the only BHM event for Chris Philp and Mario Creatura

Rastamouse: that’s the only BHM event for Chris Philp and Mario Creatura

But if anyone ever wanted a demonstration of how we live in a divided borough, then they need only refer to the events planned for Black History Month.

In a programme of more than 40 varied lectures, performances and readings, there is just a single BHM event arranged in the south of Croydon for the entire month.

And that’s a reading at Purley Library from the author of the children’s book Rastamouse.

As lively and entertaining as we are sure Michael D’Souza may be (and from the leaflet, it is clear that he’s been booked to tour many of the borough’s other libraries, too), it’s hardly Maya Angelou…

The council’s own 2015 BHM leaflet highlights the geographical imbalance in provision, helpfully organising its listings into three areas: “North”, “Central” and “South”. They have even colour-coded the thing to make sure no one can miss it.

Chris Philp, the new Tory MP for Croydon South, has so far been silent on the absence of a better share of council-staged Black History Month events in his constituency. Nor have any complaints over the preferential treatment of residents in the north of the borough so far been registered by Conservative councillors for wards in Purley, Kenley and Coulsdon, such as Simon Brew, the former MP’s gobby factotum Mario Creatura, the ever-generous Badsha Quadir or Steve O’Connell, the London Assembly Member.

Maybe they haven’t noticed?

Perhaps they don’t care?

Black history monthCroydon launched its Black History Month in Fisher’s Folly last night. Celebrating “women in leadership”, they asked along Bianca Miller, who was billed elsewhere as “Apprentice star”; Croydon businesswoman might have been more appropriate.

Among the highlight events taking place throughout the month (but not in the south of Croydon, of course) are:

• Celebrating black businesses and culture in Croydon from 11am to 7pm at Fairfield Halls on Saturday, October 24.
• Author Lorna Liverpool discussing her novel A Dance to Remember at a workshop at Shirley Library from 3pm to 4pm on Saturday, October 24.
• Black History Lecture – Black Women in the Origin and Evolution of Music at 6.45pm at Croydon Supplementary Education Project on Wednesday, November 4.

The council has not even bothered to distribute its leaflet in hard-copy form to any of its libraries beyond Central.

But here at Inside Croydon, we’re happy to direct you to the the council’s BHM leaflet online – in all its colour-coded glory.

And of course we are also listing selected events from BHM on our Inside Croydon Events page.

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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