Select Page

Black History Month takes place in October every year and is an annual commemoration of the history, achievements and contributions of Black people in the UK. 

The aims of Black History Month are to: promote knowledge and understanding of Black History and culture, both nationally and locally, acknowledge and celebrate the contributions made by Black people to the cultural and economic development of the UK.

The Origins of Black History Month

In 1926, Carter G Woodson established African Caribbean celebrations in America where Black History Month is still celebrated each February.

After visiting America in the 1970s, Ghanaian-born Akyaaba Addai Sebo, a special projects officer at the Greater London Council, founded the UK’s version of Black History Month in 1987.

The US celebrates in February because the birthdays of former US President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglass fall within this month.

There are two reasons thought to be behind why Black History Month is celebrated in October in the UK:

  • Traditionally, October is when African chiefs and leaders gather to settle their differences, so Akyaaba chose this month to reconnect with African roots.
  • Additionally, many thought that since it was the beginning of the new academic year, October would give Black children a sense of pride and identity.

Black History Month has since grown in the UK, where over 6,000 events take place each year.

Local Events

More Resources

  • Bristol’s Black History: learn more about Black history in this city, with stories compiled by the Bristol Museums Black History Steering Group.
  • Iconic Black Britons heritage trail: see large murals of seven iconic Bristol residents from the Windrush generation on this walk: The Seven Saints of St. Pauls.

(Source: Bristol City Council)