Canary Wharf Group Holds Programme of Talks, Walks and Literary Workshops for Black History Month – 02.10.23

  • Authors and historians SI Martin and Patrice Lawrence to host free to attend talks and workshops throughout October
  • Extracts of new novel by Afua Hirsch can be collected from Crossrail Place Roof Garden’s Short Story Stations
  • Montgomery Square will host Karnival market on Thursday 5 October with a number of BAME traders serving up delicious delicacies

A series of talks, walks and workshops are happening throughout October at Canary Wharf to celebrate Black History Month, with writer and broadcaster Afua Hirsch, Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize winner Patrice Lawrence, and author of ‘500 Years of Black London’, SI Martin to participate.

Celebrations will kick off with the final instalment of Canary Wharf’s 2023 lunch markets as Karnival market will transform Montgomery Square into a foodie paradise. Karnival will welcome a myriad of flavours from African and Caribbean culture offering a treat for the tastebuds as traders include Only Jerkin and Mauritian Coalition. The market will take place from 12noon-2.30pm on 5 October.

For those looking to learn more on the Black history of the area, author of ‘500 Years of Black London’ SI Martin will host a talk on 12 October, 1-2pm, at Crossrail Place Roof Garden on the local impact of the 1919 race riots. With extensive local knowledge and understanding of Black history, the author will also offer a walking tour of West India Docks, Limehouse and Poplar on Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 October which is sure to both educate and inspire those who attend. Participants will learn about the human cost behind the West India Docks and hear stories of generations past from local Black seafarers and their families. Visitors will walk in the footsteps of the victims of the 1919 race riots and visit the final resting places of forgotten servants and settlers from the 1700s.

British writer and journalist Patrice Lawrence, winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, will be hosting two workshop sessions on Sunday 8 October (for ages 6-8) and Saturday 28 October (for ages 9-11) to inspire little minds. Creating unique characters, action and storylines using inspiration from the surrounding history and personal experience.

Canary Wharf’s innovative Short Story Stations – literary vending machines that dispense free one-, three- and five-minute stories for visitors to read – will include extracts from Afua Hirsch’s new book for six weeks only. The British broadcaster and author’s latest work, Decolonising My Body: A Radical Exploration of Rituals and Beauty, challenges preconceived notions of ancestry and body image. It charts Hirsch’s year-long journey of radical unlearning, reassessing the notions of body image beyond those of the colonial, patriarchal gaze.

The programme is the latest instalment of Canary Wharf’s extensive arts and events programme, which puts on over 100 free events every year. Canary Wharf Group is committed to creating spaces that are representative of diverse audiences; recent initiatives have included commissioning Yinka Ilori to transform Bank Street Park with a vibrant basketball court installation and Camille Walala’s colourful redesign of the Adams Plaza bridge.

Those spending a day exploring the Wharf can enjoy a stroll along 5km of boardwalks, take in the UK’s largest free to explore outdoor public art collection or sample one of Canary Wharf’s many eateries including new openings mallow, Fish Game and Dishoom.


Thursday 5 October, 12noon-2.30pm

  • Karnival lunch market

Sunday 8 October, 11am-12noon

  • Literary Workshop (Ages 6-8 years)
  • Free to attend
  • Crossrail Place Roof Garden

Thursday 12 October, 1-2pm

  • SI Martin talk: The local impact of the 1919 race riots
  • Free to attend
  • Crossrail Place Roof Garden

Thursday 19 October – Thursday 30 November  

  • Extracts on Short Story Stations by Afua Hirsch

Saturday 28 October, 1-2pm

  • Literary Workshop (Ages 9-11 years)
  • Free to attend
  • Crossrail Place Roof Garden

To find out more about what’s going on for Black History Month at Canary Wharf, please visit:


For further information, please contact:

Press Office
Canary Wharf Group plc
T: 020 7418 2166

Notes to Editors

About Canary Wharf Group:

Canary Wharf Group (CWG) is the developer of the largest urban regeneration project in Europe. CWG develops, manages and currently owns interests in approximately 9 million square feet of mixed-use space and over 1,100 Build to Rent apartments. 

CWG is a large sustainable developer in the UK and has purchased 100% electricity from renewable sources since 2012 and sent zero waste to landfill since 2009. 

CWG has created a 24/7 city where people can live, work and thrive on the Canary Wharf estate and enjoy all the benefits: great transport links, access to 16.5 acres of green spaces and waterside living; and a wide range of amenities including an award-winning arts and events programme. Canary Wharf’s retail offering comprises over 70 bars, cafes and restaurants and over 300 shops, including 8 grocery stores, pharmacies and health clubs all within 15 minutes’ walk.
LinkedIn: @CanaryWharfGroup
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Twitter: @CanaryWharfGrp / @Level39CW