Black History Month Culture

Black History Month October 2020 banner

The Cambridge African Network

The Cambridge African Network (CAN) is a registered charity and community organisation that brings together city residents of African origin. It promotes social inclusion and the integration of the African community in the multicultural society of Cambridge and the county at large.

They regularly organise activities and events that generate interest and cultural expression, empower its members and promote community interaction. Please see the CAN website picture gallery for images and videos from previous Black History Month celebrations they have hosted. 

The Cambridge African Network (CAN) logo

Facts about Africa

  • The longest river in the world, the Nile (4,132 miles), is located in Africa 
  • It is the hottest continent on earth 
  • Well over 1,000 languages are spoken by the people of Africa. Some estimates put this number closer to 2,000. 
  • The worlds largest land animal is the African elephant. The worlds tallest animal, the giraffe lives in Africa. The fastest land animal, the cheetah also African. 
  • The African continent has the second largest population in the world, at about 1 billion people 
  • Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain on the continent. It towers over 19,300 feet, which is so tall that glaciers can be found at its summit even though the mountain is near the equator. 
  • The oldest human remains ever discovered were found in Ethiopia. They are approximately 200,000 years old.
  • Africa has the world's largest desert, the Sahara, which is almost the size of the United States. 

Want to know more? 

Caribbean History

Most Caribbean’s are descendants of captive Africans transported to European colonies established in the Caribbean islands, during the Atlantic Slave Trade.

Slavery in the area is dated back to the 16th Century, however by the 17-18th Century the Atlantic Slave Trade really took off. Slaves within the Caribbean began to negotiate, buy or fight for manumission.

Some attempted the legal route, wherein they could work to buy or negotiate theirs or their children’s freedoms, key figures of this were Olaudah Equiano and Ottobah Cugoano. However some attempted to fight and flee their captors and plantations, aiming to join independent colonies within the forests and mountains, known as Maroons.

Fractions between plantation owners and Maroons led to the First Maroon War and in turn harsher and more cruel treatment for those enslaved. This treatment fueled the Haitian Revolution led by former slaves Toussaint L’Ouverture and Jean-Jaques Dessalines. After 13 years of warfare and defeating Spanish, French and British forces, Haiti became the first independent island in the Caribbean.

This achievement led to a wave of uprising and the abolishment of slavery within the Caribbean by 1886.

The emancipation and new freedoms afforded many the opportunities to travel, learning and experiences, moving towards the late 19th Century and into the 20th and 21st Century Caribbean's however have continued to fight and face prejudices in daily life, and it is thought that many of the original white colonies still remain with many Caribbean’s choosing to emigrate. Large areas of Haiti and Jamaica still have high levels of poverty, joblessness and other socio-economic disparities.

Within the 1960’s former slave descendants were starting to influence western mainstream culture with influences of reggae music, calypso and Rastafarianism. Examples of this cultural injection into British culture is briefly explored within this YouTube video.

Sources: British LibraryLevi Roots and Wikipedia.

A range of recipes created by members of the local community will be added here throughout the month. 

Alma Faye's African Delight - Jollof Rice & Jerk Chicken

Jollof rice and jerk chicken African dish

Watch Alma's cooking below:


  • 1 kilogram long grain rice
  • 6 chicken tights
  • 2 large red sweet peppers
  • 2 large onions
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 tin tomato
  • Cooking oil
  • Jamaican jerk marinade/seasoning (can be purchased in supermarkets)
  • Knorr seasoning
  • Black pepper
  • Chicken seasoning
  • Chicken stock cubes
  • Thyme & garlic
  • 2 lamb chops (to boil to make the stock for the rice)

Tanisha Broady's Jamaican Callaloo

Ingredients for Callaloo (Vegetable):

  • Onion
  • Bell Peppers
  • Thyme
  • Spring Onion
  • Garlic

Joyce Gannon from Ntsama's Chilli Oil - Nigerian Jollof Rice with Chicken or Salmon

Take an hour to cook along with Joyce, who uses chilli oil and sauces from her business


Jollof Rice:

  • Tinned tomato
  • Bell Peppers
  • Scotch Bonnets Chilli
  • Onions
  • Meat stock/ vegetable stock
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Salt
  • Ntsama Roasted Peppers
  • Fresh thyme
  • Fresh Ginger

Ntsama Chicken Marinade:

  • Chicken thigh
  • Ntsama Chilli Sauces
  • Natural Yogurt
  • Lemon & thyme
  • Fresh Lemon
  • Fresh thyme

Ntsama Salmon Marinade:

  • All Purpose seasoning
  • Lemon
  • Chilli Jelly

Half Term arts and crafts activity with Sandra Scott and Kettle's Yard

You are invited to create your own 'flying' collage with artist Sandra Scott, who was inspired by New York artist, Faith Ringgold and her story and illustrations for Tar Beach. Watch the video below to find out how you can get involved: 

'Together' poster - Kettle's Yard and the Cambridge African Network



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