Transport for London has unveiled a specially designed tube map which highlights and celebrates how Black people have contributed to Britain and British life.

The 272 stations of the tube have all been renamed to honour historical figures, dating back to the pre-Tudor era and up until the present day. Some of the figures include Evelyn Dove, the trailblazing performer who was the first Black singer to perform on BBC Radio, Claudia Jones, a political activist who cofounded the Notting Hill Carnival and the Olympian Harry Edward.

The tube lines on the map have been named after the areas that the historical icons fall into; ‘Performers’ for example features Errol Brown, lead vocalist of soul band Hot Chocolate, whilst ‘Trailblazers’ has Pablo Fanque, owner of a popular circus in Victorian Britain, who is mentioned in The Beatles song Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite! featured on Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band.

The 272 stations have all been renamed to honour historical figures, dating back to the pre-Tudor era up to the present day...

Also featured in the Trailblazer category is William Brown (real name unknown), the first black woman to serve in the Royal Navy by disguising herself as a man.

The Jubilee line has been renamed the LGBTQ+ line...

The Jubilee line has been renamed the LGBTQ+ line on the map, featuring figures such as civil servant Ivor Cummings and footballer Justin Fashanu, as well as organisations such as UK Black Bridge and Exist Loudly.

Other notable figures from across the map include the late novelist Angela Levy, feminist and activist Una Marson and coal merchant Cesar Picton. Also featured is John Edmonstone, a former slave who later worked at the University of Edinburgh, where he taught Charles Darwin taxidermy. It’s said his accounts of the rainforest helped to encourage Darwin to embark out on HMS Beagle, and that the techniques he taught him were a great aid in Darwin’s findings.

John Edmonstone, a former slave who later worked at the University of Edinburgh, where he taught Charles Darwin taxidermy...

The map was designed in partnership with the Black Cultural Archives and historian Kelly Foster. The Archives, established in 1981, celebrates it’s 40th anniversary this year. Commenting on the map, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan stated: “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.”

The map was designed in partnership with the Black Cultural Archives and historian Kelly Foster.

Black History Month in the UK began 1st October, and we also outlined ways you can celebrate it here.


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