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.
- For local events and articles, subscribe for free to the Bristol Black History Month 2020 Magazine.
- Bristol Museums are celebrating with a series of events and online talks. To book your free place visit Bristol Museums website.
- 17 October: Black Lives Matter – Reforming the Norm. Panel members will be speaking their truth about how the BLM protests have affected them, what each has done as a result and looking ahead what in their view needs to happen for things to change.
- 21st October: Black Lives Matter and the call for action. Panel discussion reflecting on the Black Lives Matter protests over the summer, and what it means for the future of the city of Bristol. What should happen next? Hosted by UWE Bristol.
- 22nd October: We Dey Here Long Time – An overview of the Black presence in Britain from 1300 – 2020. An overview of the Black presence in Britain from 1300 – 2020.
- 24th October: The Past as a Future Present. The NS BME Network’s Wellbeing Cafe is hosting a talk and discussion on how our histories shape our present and infuence our future.
- Throughout October: Instagram Takeover. Each weekend in October the Real Photography Company invites a Black artist / photographer to take over our Instagram feed, to showcase their work and talk about their practice.
- Throughout October: Black History Month at the Library. Collated resource collections of fiction, non-fiction, films, and documentaries about Black history and Black experience. (A mixture of digital and physical resources. Read and watch online.)
- October to December: Real Photography Company The set of portraits in this exhibition make visible a generation of intrepid individuals, who left their homeland to make the journey to a new life.
- You can also visit the Black History Month website.
- 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)