Celebrating Black History Month

Emma Grant Senior Student Services Officer


October 14, 2016

Black History Month (BHM) started as a week in America in 1926. By 1976 it had become an annual month long celebration, but it was not until 1987 that it started in the UK.

In the UK BHM is celebrated in October, unlike in America where it is celebrated in February to tie in with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln & Frederick Douglass.

Over the years the annual celebration has grown in the UK and today there are over six thousand events taking place across Britain. BHM has support from the UK government and as part of this years introduction to the months celebrations, Prime Minister Theresa May says;

It is an opportunity for us all to recognize the incredible achievements of successful African and Caribbean men and women across sectors including financial services, retail, media, the arts, science and technology and sport.

But as well as celebrating individuals, the month has become an opportunity for wider issues to be brought to the forefront. In this years BHM magazine, there are articles on inclusion & diversity in the workplace, issues of equality within black LGBT communities and raising awareness of charity campaigns such as the Terrence Higgins Trust It starts with me HIV campaign and the Anthony Nolan trusts recruitment for more black blood donors.

This month students will find a wide range of events and opportunities that they can attend, in order to celebrate and learn more about Black History Month in the UK. Here in the London Center we will be hosting our own events to celebrate too!

 Arcadia England’s Black History Month Events

Book club - Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This month the Arcadia England Book Club is reading Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. While following the love story of Nigerian born Ifemelu and Obinze, the book cleverly explores themes of race and identity, with observations across England, America and Nigeria.

The book club is open to all Arcadia England students and as well as meeting in person, there will be an online conversation so that students studying outside of London can still get involved. To find out more join the Arcadia England Book Club on Facebook.

Talk of the Town - Operation Black Vote

Coming up this semester in our Talk of The Town series, we are delighted to welcome Simon Woolley, one of the founders and Director of Operation Black Vote - an organisation which promotes racial justice and equality through political engagement.  Simon has expertise in many areas including Black civil rights, policy research and development, campaign strategy and fundraising.  Simon will discuss race relations in the UK and draw comparisons and contrasts with the USA.

Keep your eyes on the Fall 16 Facebook group for further details on our upcoming Talk of the Town Events.

 For more information on Black History Month in the UK and to find events near you visit blackhistorymonth.org.uk