Raised In Hackney | Black, Beyond The Hashtag

October 2, 2020

Following the success of its first podcast – Raised in Hackney, Hoxton Hall returns with a new series Raised In Hackney – Black, Beyond The Hashtag. Funded by Young Hackney, this project was conceived and produced by Karena Johnson, Artistic Director & CEO of Hoxton Hall.

In May this year, across the world, people watched for eight minutes and 46 seconds the brutal murder of George Floyd. His death led to an outpouring of grief and disbelief, sparking a global resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. This incident galvanized a new generation of antiracist activists as millions of people from all sections of society came together and marched in solidarity.

Karena Johnson explains the rationale behind the project. “BLM in a British context felt important to document. I was struck by an apparent disconnect across generations I was encountering; reticence versus enthusiasm.” The led to Hoxton Hall facilitating an intergenerational conversation to explore this in more detail.

Set against the backdrop of a global pandemic which saw many confined to their homes and glued to their screens, in the United Kingdom, statues were torn down, black squares were posted on social media feeds and calls made to end the inequalities and injustices creating the oppression of Black people. Four months on Black, Beyond The Hashtag asks a group of people from East London, “what next?”

“We wanted to create a safe space where the twelve Black participants aged 11 to 65 years, could discuss openly and honestly their feelings and experiences about what being Black means to them” Ms. Johnson added. During the course of the conversations we hear some powerful and frank statements regarding the participants perspectives of race, injustice and what might be different this time. In the first episode the “Youngsters” share their thoughts and observations on BLM; this is followed by episode two “Big People” where the mature participants question why and how we came be to be here once again. The series culminates in the final episode “Moving Forward” where both groups come together to share their aspirations for the future.

“Raised in Hackney is an extremely important project which we are proud to have been able to fund through the work of Young Hackney. This new series – Black, Beyond the Hashtag – speaks to the mutual outrage across generations in response to what has been a series of devastating events. The three-part podcast has created a very unique opportunity to hear the uncensored thoughts and experiences from a wide range of people within the Black community. Exploring what it means to be Black during this moment in time, what the Black Lives Matter Movement looks like here in Hackney and how we move forward with our commitment to effect change.” Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Deputy Mayor of Hackney and Cabinet Member for Education, Young People and Children’s Social Care.

Raised in Hackney – Black, Beyond The Hashtag opens up a space for continued discussions around what next for the Black Lives Matter movement in Britain. These three episodes make compelling listening and includes a useful list of resources for further reading and a list of people to follow on social media.


Raised In Hackney – Black, Beyond The Hashtag is available to preview on our website from 2 October and downloadable on all other major platforms from Monday 5 October.


Raised In Hackney | Black, Beyond The Hashtag Ep 1 The Youngsters


Raised In Hackney | Black, Beyond The Hashtag Ep 2 Big People


Raised In Hackney | Black, Beyond The Hashtag Ep 3 Moving Forward


Raised In Hackney is an ongoing project devised and created by Hoxton Hall with the aim of providing a platform for the authentic voices of its communities to be heard. We are continually seeking new and innovative ways to support and encourage voices of those less heard and these podcasts provide us with an accessible vehicle to do this.

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