Black History Month at the SLBI

Join us for a fascinating series of talks throughout Black History Month in October as we celebrate black botanists past, present and future. View our full programme below.

Black Botanists from the Past to the Present

A celebration of black botanists and their work

Tues 6 October 7 – 8pm
(Online talk via Zoom)

When people think of famous botanists, they usually come up with Charles Darwin, Carl Linnaeus, Joseph Banks, Gregor Mendel… they are all white and all male. But there are important black botanists in our history and working today (male and female). In this online discussion we will take a look at the SLBI’s new learning resource for Primary Schools – Black Botanists from the Past to the Present – where black botanists and their work are celebrated. We will also discuss how this resource can be used in schools during Black History Month 2020.

With Sarah Webley, SLBI Education and Outreach Co-ordinator
Tickets by donation. Book here


A Common Language of Land – Guyana, Jamaica and the Forest of Dean

A delve into the world of forests based on 3 very different locations

Weds 7 October 7 – 8pm
(Online talk via Zoom)

With Zakiya Mckenzie, Nature writer and poet

Forests: their myths, stories, and importance.
One of Zakiya’s parents is Guyanese and the other is Jamaican while she was born in South London. England and the Caribbean are vastly different geographies but, for her, there are similarities to be found in the natural history of the regions. Jamaica mined bauxite, Guyana has gold and having a personal underground coalmine is a right for some people in the Forest of Dean. This session will discuss how having multiple ‘languages’ of place and time have helped me understand land and land use in Britain. Her interpreting of the forest – as workplace, as places draped in story and myth, places to live in – is applied to the 3 locations to compare and contrast how people and environment have endured for centuries.
Tickets by donation. Book here.


The Journey – from the Garden to your Kitchen

Tips on growing, harvesting and eating fruit and vegetables.

Thurs 15 October 7 – 8pm
(Online talk via Zoom)

With Hilda Castillo-Binger, Retired NHS Nurse and Founder member of Lambeth GP Food Co-op

Lambeth GP Food Co-op is an organisation that enables people to meet other people with an interest in growing vegetables together. This not only helps combat social isolation, it also builds confidence. The joy of growing your own tomatoes, or courgettes, not only develops confidence, it benefits the health of the individual. The food that is grown is distributed and sold to NHS staff as well as to NHS hospital caterers. So the GP Food Co-op not only enables and empowers local people to learn new skills, to be confident and sociable, it also makes a valuable contribution to the local economy.

Hilda was born in Trinidad, West Indies and came to the UK in the early 1970s to pursue her career in nursing. Her family had agricultural lands so her zest for growing began in her childhood and has developed over the years. Hilda will be passing on her tips on how you can start growing, harvesting and cooking your produce.

Tickets by donation. Book here


Brixton Market’s heritage fruit and vegetables

Date: Fri 16 October 7- 8pm
(Online talk via Zoom)

With Dr. Alex Monro, Senior Botanist, Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew

Brixton Market’s heritage fruit and vegetables
As part of our series of events for Black History Month, Alex Monro from the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew will talk about some of the food plants found in our local Brixton market – such as sugar cane, jackfruit, breadfruit, durian, cassava, yam and June plum. He will talk about their origins, spread and geopolitical aspects . His talk will link into our talk given the previous night by Hilda Castillo, who will be telling us how her background in Trinidad helped her set up the Lambeth GP Food Coop.

Tickets by donation. Book here.


Uses of Plants beyond the Obvious

Without plants we won’t survive

Mon 26 October 7 – 8pm
(Online talk via Zoom)

With Joshua Ajowele, Botanist, MSc Plant Diversity, Reading University

The importance & significance of plants in relation to climate emergency, food, forensics and health, including some uses of plants in Nigeria.

Joshua Ajowele graduated with First Class honours in Plant Science from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria and is currently a student on the MSc Plant Diversity at the University of Reading. He is carrying out his master’s research project investigating the effects of cutting date on the restoration of species-rich meadows. He is enthusiastic and passionate about plants and fascinated by how plants connect people from different backgrounds and experiences. He is also one of our tutors on our Urban Botany course for school leavers in 2021.

Tickets by donation. Book here

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