The UK's first Black History Month took place in 1987, where the aim was for Britain to challenge racism and educate each other about the British history that was not taught in schools. 33 years later, October continues to mark Black History Month in the UK with a number of special events and celebrations that take place to mark the occasion. October is a time for reflection, acknowledgement and celebration.
In her article, 'Why is black history month more important than ever?' Catherine Ross - Editor of The National Caribbean Heritage Museum of Black History Month 2020,explains that
" 2020 has held a mirror up to the world and forced many to see the reality of racism in all its guises.
From Black people dying disproportionately in the pandemic, to the horrific murder of George Floyd and no justice for Breonna Taylor – the 26-year-old emergency medical worker killed by police in her own home... now more than ever Black History Month is a time to shine a light on our shared British history and tell the whole story honestly and truthfully, to decolonise and reclaim history, and tell stories from the perspective of all people.
Black History Month 2020 is a time for people to come together and hopefully learn lessons for the present and the future. It’s a time to honour the commitment to learning and standing united against racism. It’s a time to reclaim history and re-imagine how our shared history will be told in the future" Read more
In light of the Black Lives Matter movement, MDX and your students' union collated a list of powerful educational resources of the movement and black history. From books to Netflix series, the wide range of resources means there's something for everyone.
What can I do to celebrate?
Black History Month is a great opportunity for people from all backgrounds to educate themselves on black history and the often-overlooked people who have made a difference to the country.
MDXSU is committed to their work around diversity and are hosting lots of exciting virtual events to mark the month including open mic nights, panel talks and competitions, and lots of other events to celebrate black excellence. The events have been organised in collaboration with students across the Black Liberation Student Group, African & Carribean Society (ACS), Student Healthcare Academics Race Equality Diversity and Inclusivity Network (SHAREDIN), Amnesty International and MDX FM.
MDXSU are also launching the wall of Black Excellence:
The wall aims to recognise and celebrate Black excellence within our community, not just this October, but all year round – Black students, alumni and staff across the University who have made a significant contribution to our community and wider society.