Tube map for Black History month researched in Brixton

Tube map version

Brixton’s Black Cultural Archives have combined with Transport for London to produce a Tube map for Black History Month.

It features figures pre-Tudors, Georgians and Victorians, as well as poets, photographers and activists.

All 272 names and places featured on the map were researched by public historian Kelly Foster and the Black Cultural Archives (BCA).

Notable figures include the first Black woman to serve in the Royal Navy, by disguising herself as a man called William Brown, and the hugely successful Victorian circus owner Pablo Fanque – immortalised in The Beatles’ song Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite!

The launch of the map coincides both with Black History Month and the 40th anniversary of the BCA ,which is based in Brixton’s Windrush Square.

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Arike Oke, managing director of the BCA, said: “London’s Black history is deeply embedded in its streets and neighbourhoods.

“We’re delighted, as part of our 40th anniversary celebrations, to use this opportunity to share new and old stories about Black history with Londoners and visitors to London.

“We hope that the map will be an invitation to find out more and to explore.”

You can pre-order posters of the map from the BCA’s online shop and the London Transport Museum.

Also available to be viewed online, the map replaces station names across London’s Tube map with notable Black people.

Tube lines are renamed to link them with common themes – Firsts and Trailblazers; Georgians; Sports; Arts; LGBTQ+; Physicians; Performers; Literary World and Community Organisers. 

TfL said the map aims to highlight how Black people have played an intrinsic role in all parts of British life for thousands of years.

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Fascinating figures from Black British history on the map include:

Cecile Nobrega, an accomplished classical composer, poet, sculptor and educator, who led a 15-year campaign to establish a monument in Stockwell Memorial Gardens, Bronze Woman, the first public monument to Black women to be on permanent display in England, whose name replaces St Paul’s station

HMS Queen Charlotte’s sailor and “captain of the fore-top” William Brown, the first Black woman to serve in the Royal Navy by disguising herself as a man, who replaces Barons Court station

Norwich-born Pablo Fanque replaces Embankment station

Jamaican-born settler to Edinburgh John Edmonstone, who taught Charles Darwin taxidermy, replaces Upminster Bridge station

Claudia Jones, a feminist, political activist and pioneering journalist who was the co-founder of Notting Hill Carnival, replaces Camden Town station

Joe Clough, who made his first home in London and, in 1910, became London Transport’s first Black motorbus driver, replaces Elm Park station.

Brixton Tube station takes the name of Black Cultural Archives.

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The unique map will also be available to buy as a poster in person at the BCA.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said: “Black History is London’s history and this reimagination of the iconic Tube map celebrates the enormous contribution Black people have made, and continue to make, to the success of our city.

“I’m determined to create a more equal city where Black lives truly matter.

“This starts with education, and that’s why this new Black History Tube map is so important.

“It gives us all the chance to acknowledge, celebrate and learn about some of the incredible Black trailblazers, artists, physicians, journalists and civil rights campaigners who have made such significant contributions to life in the capital, as well as our country as a whole.”

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Marcia Williams, Transport for London’s head of diversity, inclusion and talent, said: “Black people have played a significant role in all aspects of British life for thousands of years.

“From civil rights, art, and transport, to medicine and journalism, it is fantastic to see the true scale and breadth of this contribution commemorated on TfL’s iconic Tube map – a symbol synonymous with London and the UK.” 

View the map

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