Black History Month: Celebrating Black British cultural and historical figures
By Lydia Cronin
October is Black History Month in the UK. To mark the start of this month, we’d love to share our recommendations of those doing great work and celebrate Black cultural and historical figures. This month is also an opportunity to look specifically at the rich history of the Black community in the UK.
Engage with Black history all year round
As with Pride month, it’s essential that our commitment to recognising, celebrating, and uplifting marginalised communities is a 12 month commitment, not one limited to specific months of the year. We recommend following the work of two organisations sharing insights about Black history and working to create a more equitable future:
The Black Business Institute (BBI): Led by Darren Miller, the BBI exists to promote a fairer society by promoting Black entrepreneurialism. Included colleagues Stephen Frost and Nick Basannavar sit on the board for BBI and Darren is featured in Included’s latest Impact Report. Hear more from BBI on their podcast, You’re On Mute.
Black & Gay, Back in the Day: This digital community on Instagram honours and remembers Black queer life in Britain. Featuring photos from the 1970s through to the 2000s, this project brings Black LGBTQIA+ history to life. The community has also recently launched a podcast.
Looking for something to…
Try The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré. This novel tells the story of a 14 year old Nigerian girl finding her voice and building her path.
Stormzy has been named a Diversity Champion for his work with his charities the Merky Foundation and Merky Books. He has called for the music industry to make a tangible change to inclusion and move beyond using diversity as a buzzword. The music video for Stormzy’s latest single, Mel Made Me Do It, features iconic Black figures from the world of sport, like Dina Asher-Smith and Ian Wright, music, such as Little Simz and Dave, and culture, including Malorie Blackman and Julie Adenuga. Watch now
October sees a number of events taking place in the UK, including Ballet Black in Durham and a new flower art installation and workshop in North London. Find more events.
Find out more about Black History Month
- Head to the Black History Month website for jobs, poems, events, and resources for schools.
- Explore the Getty Black History and Culture Collection for often unseen photographs of the Black/African Diaspora in the UK and US made available as a not-for-profit project for educational use.
- Engage with Black British voices on social media such as historian David Olusoga, author Bolu Babalola, and footballer Marcus Rashford.
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