Reflecting on our past to understand our present
For over 30 years, the month of October has been Black History Month (BHM) in the UK - an annual celebration of the history, achievements and contributions of our black communities. Throughout the month, the University of Lincoln will be joining organisations across the UK in hosting a calendar of events. Imported from America, BHM is now a modern tradition, firmly embedded in the UK cultural calendar
Black History Month was first created in the USA by historian Carter G. Woodson (1875–1950). He wanted to challenge the preconceptions at the time that people of colour had no history. He founded The Association for the Study of African American (formerly Negro) Life and History in 1915, encouraging scholars and historians to research and preserve black history and culture.
It was not until the 1980s that BHM was finally imported to the UK (during the Thatcher era) – against a background of turmoil, the aftermath of Brixton, Tottenham and Toxteth riots, where Black Britons were fighting against racism and marginalisation; for acceptance and a sense of identity.
The concept of UK Black History was developed by Akyaaba Addai-Sebo, who coordinated the first official UK Black History Month event on the 1 October 1987.
What is Black History Month?