Friday 26th August 2022

The History of Notting Hill Carnival
By Eniafe Momodu - @eniafemomodu 🌍

Every August, for 2 days, millions of people converge in the streets of London to form the biggest street festival in the whole of Europe. Known for its good food, vibrant costumes, endless dancing and legendary after-parties, Notting Hill Carnival is one of the most anticipated events of the year. However, despite its immense popularity and cultural impact, not many people are aware of the deep, socio-political roots that led to the creation of the event.

Notting Hill Carnival is rooted in Caribbean carnival traditions dating back to the 18th-century. Drawing on African dance traditions, enslaved Africans organised festivals which satirised the Mardi Gras masquerade balls held by French slave owners, festivals which enslaved Africans were not allowed to participate in. These traditions persisted after the emancipation of slaves in the British Caribbean in 1838.

Following World War II, Britain received an influx of 300,000 immigrants from the Caribbean islands. These ‘West Indians’, as they were called, had been brought into London to combat the post-war labour shortage, prompting disdain from many white nationalists who were determined to “Keep Britain White”.


Taking the world to africa and africa to the world         

Taking the world to africa and africa to the world