October marks the Black History Month in the UK and Ireland. In the UK, Black History Month was established to recognise the history of those with African and Caribbean heritage. Whereas in the US, the Americans exclusively celebrate the African American heritage.
In the US and Canada, the Black History Month is observed in February.
Every October since 1987, the UK has observed the Black History Month to celebrate the heritage, culture, achievements, contributions, and history of black people in the UK. Now Black History Month also focuses on black British history and key black figures from the UK.
This year’s theme for Black History Month is ‘Time for Change: Action Not Words’. The main objective behind this theme is to encourage people to come together and fight racism. The Black History Month in the UK was initiated by Ghanaian born Akyaaba Addai-Sebo in 1987. October was chosen for the following two reasons:
1. October is the start of a new academic year and so would inspire young children who would be back after a long summer holiday.
2. To reconnect with African roots because traditionally, in October African chiefs and leaders gather together to settle their differences.
Did You Know?
Black History Month in the UK is inspired by Black History Month celebrated in the US. It was officially recognised in the US in 1976.
It was introduced by Carter G. Woodson in 1926 as ‘Negro History Week’ which later became Black History Month after it became extremely popular.
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