What is Black History Month, and why do we celebrate it?
Black History Month is fast approaching, but what actually is Black History Month and why do we celebrate it? It was established in the United States in 1969 in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement to celebrate those of African and Caribbean descent and the impact they have had on American culture. Many other countries have adopted this annual celebration, including the United Kingdom.
In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, and countless racial injustices in the UK and throughout the world, it is now more important than ever to highlight black achievements and contributions. It is also crucial to bridge the cultural gap between all diverse groups to gain a better understanding of one another to combat these social injustices.
How can we celebrate Black History Month at home?
1. Connect with family through food and drinks from black cultures:
One of the best ways to bring people together is through food! Explore some traditional Afro-Caribbean foods (we have a lot to choose from in London), attempt some new recipes at home with your family, and explore different regional food and drinks.
2. Support Black British content creators:
From music to movies, from fashion to sports, all of these industries have been revolutionized by the black community. Explore Black British stories through black content creators such as Micheala Cowen and Daniel Kaluuya. Check out the list below for more content creators.
3. Learn more about Black British History
Historically we have mainly celebrated African American heroes and stories during black history month, and are very familiar with the legacies of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King. However, this Black History Month, we should try and celebrate stories closer to home and educate ourselves on the legacies of Black British heroes throughout history. One great resource is:
Black and British – A forgotten History – David Olusoga – Amazon Prime Documentary & a childrens book
4. Raise money/donate to charities supporting the black community:
There are lots of charities around the UK doing great work to combat the racial injustices the black community and other global majority groups face.
5. Be an antiracist
An antiracist is the opposite of a racist. An antiracist is someone who is committed to fighting racism wherever you may find it. These can range from participating in the Black Lives Matter protests to simply speaking out against racist ideals and being an ally. You can download our free resource pack that has some activities you can do at home as a family, or within a classroom:
And last, of all, don’t let your support stop at the end of October. It’s important that we celebrate diversity and Britain’s diverse history all year round. Lastly, don’t forget South Asian history month in July. Stay tuned for more posts on how to celebrate the month.