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London's black icons highlighted on Black History Tube map

Tube lines have also been renamed to bind them together by common themes. Credits: TFL

Transport for London has released a Tube map honoring the contributions of black people to London since the Roman conquest (TfL).

The names of 272 important black persons have been substituted for station names on the map, and Tube lines have been renamed to connect them by similar themes.

The map was created to commemorate the Black Cultural Archives' 40th anniversary.

"Black History is London's history," declared London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

"This reimagining of the iconic Tube map recognizes the huge contribution black people have made, and continue to make, to our city's development," he continued.

"I'm committed to making our community a more egalitarian place where black lives genuinely matter." This begins with knowledge, which is why the new Black History Tube Map is so crucial."

Tube lines have also been renamed to reflect common themes: the Bakerloo line represents sport, the Central line represents the arts, the Metropolitan line represents physicians, and the Jubilee line represents LGBT+.

Pablo Fanque, a tremendously successful Victorian circus owner immortalized in the Beatles song Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite, whose name substitutes Embankment station, is one of those chosen to appear on the map.

Claudia Jones, a political activist and co-founder of the Notting Hill Carnival, is also honored, with Camden Town station being replaced.

Ivory Bangle Lady, the moniker given to the remains of a high-status North African woman from fourth-century Roman York, has been renamed West Brompton station.

Her skeleton was discovered with jet and elephant ivory bracelets, which allowed researchers figure out that wealthy people from all over the Roman empire were living in the UK at the time.

The Black Cultural Archives, which were founded in 1981 to chronicle the histories of people from across the African diaspora in British culture and history, conducted research and developed the map.

"London's black past is firmly embedded in its streets and neighborhoods," said Arike Oke, managing director of the archives.

"We hope the map will inspire people to learn more and explore."


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