Black History Month was founded in the UK in 1987, with the US original Black History Month as a basis.
October marks the annual celebration of the history, achievements, and feats of Black People in the United Kingdom.
Black History Month celebrates the sharing of knowledge and the fight put by black people for freedom, culture, and society, and there are many great minds to celebrate.
The month is filled with events celebrating African and Caribbean cultures: art exhibitions, awards ceremonies, concerts, and cultural manifestations of all kinds.
This year’s theme is Sharing Journeys. It implies the exploration of lives and stories of people who arrived in Britain in the 19th and 20th centuries and assisted in laying the foundations of a present-day diverse society.
Since Roman times, Black people have been part of British History, and it’s time to learn more about their historical contribution.
In the US, Black History Month was created by historian Carter G Woodson to challenge the belief that black people had no history.
For that end, he founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History in 1915, which encouraged historians interested in the matter to study and preserve black history and culture.
Following up, Woodson founded Negro History Week in 1926. The civil rights movement and the Black Power movement took this to another level: one week isn’t long enough to cover an entire race’s history.
Thus, Black History Month was born in 1969. Ghanian-born Akyaaba Addai Sebo visited America in the 1970s and was inspired by the developments.
He had lectured about African traditions there and was motivated by children and parents who told them how it gave them a new sense of self.
He worked as a special projects officer at the Greater London Council and founded the UK’s version of Black History Month in 1987. His activism spans the African continent, the UK, and the US.
Addai-Sebo conceived a celebration of the achievements of Africa, Africans, and people of African descent to world civilization from antiquity to the present.
Among these is an exhibition in the Bank of England, exploring the Bank’s links with slavery.
While it’s fantastic that the UK is celebrating Black History Month, there are some great resources everyone can use to support teaching black history throughout the entire year.
The Education Hub has great resources and a compilation of websites promoting historical education, including the National Archives, Bristol Museums, and The Royal Mint. Check out their website here.