Children and book lovers celebrated the achievements of black British women heroes with a storytelling session with an author.

Newham councillor Thelma Odoi (Lab, Custom House) hosted the event at Custom House Bookshop in Freemasons Road, Newham, on October 22, for children aged 9 to 15.

She was joined by Anu Adebogun, author of Black and Brave History: 30 Sheroes Who Shook Britain.

Newham Recorder: Anu Adebogun, Cllr Thelma Odoi, Rev Comfort Oweye and Princess Owoye (left to right)Anu Adebogun, Cllr Thelma Odoi, Rev Comfort Oweye and Princess Owoye (left to right) (Image: Howard Mendick)

Anu shared the stories of three black women with the children, who then engaged in collective story building.

These were Margaret Busby, Britain's youngest ever book publisher, Una Marson (1905-1965), writer, broadcaster and the first black woman on the BBC, and poet Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784), considered the first Black woman to have her poems published in London.

Anu said she wanted young people to learn about black history, "in a way that is wholesome and Britain-focused. 

"There is an Americanisation of black history that I and many of my peers experienced in school. 

"October would come along and, yet again, we would hear about Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks."

She added: "While I was inspired by the integrity and impact of their lives, their stories were from across the Atlantic and seemed just a bit out of touch from my childhood reality living on a council flat estate in east London.

"Where were the black British women, past and present, trailblazing in Britain?

"I was amazed to discover the many wonderful black British women and their incredible contributions to Britain and national history."