A few weeks ago I went to visit Brixton with the sole intention of checking out the Black Cultural Archives. Although just like Camden, Brixton had more plans for me and my afternoon visit!
Brixton is a place with a lot of colour and vibrancy. Brings together flavours, smells, sounds and characters from many countries and cultures.
I stepped out of Brixton station and I felt like I was in a different world. Like I’d flown into space and I’m in awe with the zero gravity. Here’s what I did that made me in awe of one of South London’s hot spots.
Black Cultural Archives
The Black Cultural Archives was originally what I popped to Brixton for. It features the history of Black Britain and the impact black people had on Britain on a societal, political and economical scale. Also how it trickled into local communities.
You get a sense for the works, stories and successes of black people both past and present, who fought for our rights and broke barriers and boundaries in their respective fields and industries. Ranging from hair and beauty, nursing to music and corporate.
Unfortunately, the biggest problem we have with out history is that it is something very rarely taught in schools and other academic institutions, black history month aside.
It’s strange considering the fact that ethnic minorities, not just the black communities, helped form the foundations of modern Britain today just as much as the majority. In other words, Black British history is British history. Even the board on Black British history I feel wasn’t 100% accurate with bits of info missing. That also shows how much it’s important to learn about ourselves and that learning itself never stops.
As quiet and small as the centre was I had a blast going through the past to the present and looking at the greatness we have achieved and helped the country achieve too. It also makes me contemplate what our future will be like.
The archives opened in 2014 as the first black national centre in the UK. You get free entry into the archives themselves, with the limited exhibitions being £3.00 for each one.
The Receptionist (Melissa i think) greeted me had such strong and warm energy. Shoutout to her, she filled me in on backstory on the archives and its founder Len Kwesi Garrison. Even at the end we had positive convos about our outlooks on black history in the UK.
It probably the hearbeat of the area itself, Brixton Market. The market was crowded with countless of street Food & Fruit and Veg stalls, butchers, hair and beauty/cosmetics shops. If you want a Jamaican patty? It’s here. You want some supermalt? Right here.
It was so cool admiring the fact I could hear one kind of music then move on to another part and here a completely different kind of music altogether. Reliance Arcade, Market Row and Brixton Village are where you mainly wanna be if you hit up Brixton Market. In my post about my time in Camden I said I wanted to visit more markets and here’s another ticked off. Time well spent doing so.
Pop Brixton is a space that’s physically representative of how multicultural Brixton is. It’s got food and drinks from all over the world: food stalls for Cuisines such as Greek, Guyanese and Venezuelan that I rarely see.
The stalls themselves are more than happy and comfortable helping each other out which is always good to see. They also have Breakfast FM and Capital FM often hosting events here on weekends so the place becomes a proper vibe around then.
Speaking of events, one of the upcoming networking events I’m going to is gonna be at Pop Brixton as well. Shoutout to Black Travel Creators!
As you can see in the pics below stalls are literally created in storage containers and units. How mad is that! If you wanted a visual definition of creativity and uniqueness Pop Brixton defo provides it.
Brixton didn’t let me leave without having something sweet or savoury to bite.
So into Bagel World I went. It’s been opened for about 5 months so it’s a new business in town. I was attracted by their bagels – but ended up leaving with a Banana Cake. I know – very random but worth the £1.80. It was so delicious and sweet. Don’t even care if they didn’t make it themselves. This was the healthy ****! Looking at the menu I took home with me made me think how good their bagels and other dishes are. I’m defo going to find the answer to that soon.
Edit: Bagel World is unfortunately now closed indefinitely 🙁
To round up, Brixton for me is a very diverse, inspiringly creative and raw in terms of its vibe and setting. It is such a real gem that I myself as a Londoner feel low-key ashamed for not going and holding in a negative light because of previously high crime rates. I would recommend if you’re a tourist looking out for the multiculturalism London prides itself and also exploring not-so touristy areas of the city.
Over to you guys! Have you visited Brixton before? What’s your take on the area ? Would you be interested in visiting after reading about my time here? Drop your thoughts in the comments below!
But till next time – Peace xD
Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures