Black History is celebrated across the UK during October

Posted 04.10.2022

A core role of Stakeholder Managers is to facilitate inclusive ways of working and highlight important celebrations.

October is Black History Month which aims to promote and celebrate contributions of Black people to British society and foster a deeper understanding of Black history. Black History Month UK was initiated in 1987 by Ghanaian-born Akyaaba Addai-Sebo, a special projects officer at the Greater London Council, and later at the London Strategic Policy Unit. The first Black History Month UK took place after Addai-Sebo decided to tackle the identity crisis Black children faced in the UK.

When Black History Month first started in the UK, there was a large focus on Black American History. However, over time, the spotlight has shifted to focus more on Black British history.

Black History Month’s origins date back to the early 20th century when Carter G Woodson was concerned of the world’s silence on Black achievement. Woodson was born in 1875 to parents who were former slaves. He struggled to obtain an education but later went on to get his PhD at Harvard University and refused to turn a blind eye on Black excellence.

In February 1926, Woodson began observing ‘African American History Week’. Woodson and his colleagues compiled a programme of events and lesson plans to improve race relations. Even after Woodson’s death in 1950 the week continued to gain momentum. In 1976 the week was extended to a month and became known as Black History Month in America.

The theme for this year’s Black History Month is Time for Change: Actions Not Words. The purpose of this theme is not just to educate people on Black History but inform and empower people to be true allies in the anti-racism movement.

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