Black History Month 2021 kicked off in Basingstoke with festivities at St Bede’s Catholic Church and a visit of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) leaders to the office of the Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane.

African and Caribbean residents across Basingstoke made the day memorable at St Bede’s Church on Popley Way, as they came out in their traditional attires and enjoyed a rich variety of traditional food to connect with their heritage.

The Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane, Cllr Onnalee Cubbitt, attended the commemorative event on the invitation of Basingstoke African Caribbean Catholic Association (BACCA).

The event also featured an African choir and an exhibition of prominent black inventors.

A delegation of BAME leaders representing African, Caribbean, Nepalese, and Hindu communities visited the Mayor’s office on Tuesday, October 5.

The visit, facilitated by Cultural Diversity Consortium (CDC), was a mark of solidarity among the diverse ethnic groups in Basingstoke, and an opportunity to seek the support of the Mayor in addressing some of the challenges facing BAME communities in the borough.

Key highlights of 2021 Black History Month Basingstoke include an exhibition of notable black inventors and British Olympians of black heritage - which takes place in the Discovery Centre library, as well as an educational series on black history, posted on Facebook every Monday in October. There will also be a series of webinars throughout the month of October focusing on the challenges and opportunities of BAME people across health, education, and business in the borough.

People can watch and engage with all Black History Month Basingstoke activities on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the handle @BHMBasingtoke.

There will be exhibitions on display in Basingstoke Discovery Centre and the Willis Museum.