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Notting Hill Carnival is a vibrant festival celebrating all aspects of black British culture. A three-day event spread over Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the British August bank holiday weekend in Notting Hill, London, in contrast with other carnivals in the Americas it is not linked with the Christian festival of Lent.

The Carnival began as a static celebration of Caribbean culture in January 1959. It was held indoors, at St Pancras town hall, a year after the Notting Hill race riots. Then called the Caribbean Carnival, it was organised by Claudia Jones a black American civil rights activist, and televised by the BBC. The first “official” Notting Hill Carnival wasn’t held until 1965 – it was made up of one steel band, 500 followers, and two police officers. Read more…

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The year that Notting Hill Carnival went mainstream