In honor of Black History Month, London’s transit system partnered with Black Cultural Archives to create The Black History Tube Map.
The United Kingdom (U.K.) celebrates Black History Month in October. Black History Month was first celebrated in London in October of 1987. The celebration was organized by Akyaadbaa Addai-Sebo, who was inspired after a visit to the United States.
Why does the U.K. celebrate Black History in October?
Sources vary on the reason why the U.K. celebrates Black History Month in October. According to the Bristol City Council (U.K.), two popular speculations are:
- Addai-Sebo chose to celebrate Black History Month in October to connect and/or reconnect to African roots. African chiefs and leaders often settled their differences in October.
- Addai-Sebo chose to celebrate Black History Month in October to give Black children a sense of pride and identity as they begin a new academic year.
The Black History Tube Map
We’ve teamed up with @bcaheritage to launch the first ever Black History Tube map, celebrating the rich and varied contribution Black people have made to London and the UK 🗺— Transport for London 😷 (@TfL) October 12, 2021
See the full map 👇
The Black History Tube Map is a reimagined map of the London Tube System that replaces the names of the stations with the names of Britain’s Black historical events and figures. The map is divided into the following categories: Art, Sports,Trailblazer, LGBTQ+, Vanguard, Medic, Campaigner, Culture, Georgians.
Visit Transport for London to download the map for free.
Three Historic Black British Figures
John Archer was elected as the Mayor of Battersea in 1913. This accomplishment made him the first Black mayor in London.
A Black female that went by the moniker William Brown was the first female member of the British Royal Navy. She was able to enlist to the crew of the HMS Queen Charlotte in 1815 by disguising herself as a man.
Paulette Wilson was a British immigrants rights activist. She was well-known for her advocacy against human rights violations that occurred during the 2018 Windrush Scandal. The Windrush Scandal was a British political scandal where legal residents (mostly residents that originated from the Caribbean) were wrongfully detained, deported, and denied legal rights.
Learn about more Black historical figures here.
Check out: Black History Month Then and Now