October is Black history Month in the UK
Black history Month is an annual commemoration of the history, achievements and contributions of Black people in Britain. Often centred on personalities and celebrities, the rich experience of community organising in Britain lies within the living memory of people and increasingly the documentation held in various archives, not least the Brixton-based Black Cultural Archives, the only national heritage centre dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain.
Drawing on the February celebration organised in the United States, Ghanaian-born Akyaaba Addai Sebo, a special projects officer at the Greater London Council, initiated the UK’s version of Black History Month in 1987.
The explanation is that Akyaaba chose October to reconnect with African roots as this month is when African chiefs and leaders gather to settle their differences in west Africa. Additional, since it was the start of the academic year, an October celebration was thought to encourage black children’s sense of pride and identity and application in their studies to emulate such role models.
Pioneering work of education and memory were undertaken by radical black political groups like the Black Unity & Freedom Party who published in the early 1980s a series on the Black perspective on the presence of Black people in Britain. This nine-part series was published in Black Voice the newspaper of the BUFP.
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Solidarity in London from the early 1960s