October is Black History Month.
Black History Month gives everyone the opportunity to share, celebrate and understand the impact of black heritage and culture.
The event is intended to recognise the contribution and achievements of those with African or Caribbean heritage. It’s also an opportunity for people to learn more about the effects of racism and how to challenge negative stereotypes.
When Black History Month first started in the UK, there was a big focus on black American history. Over time there has been more attention on black British history and key black figures from the UK, such as:
- Walter Tull, the first black officer to command white troops in the British Army and one of English football’s first black players
- Malorie Blackman, a bestselling author and the first black Children’s Laureate
- Olive Morris, a social activist who co-founded groups such as the Organisation of Women of African and Asian Descent and the Brixton Black Women’s Group
- Dr Shirley Thompson, the first woman in Europe to conduct and compose a symphony within the last 40 years
- Lewis Hamilton, one of the most high profile competitors in Formula One and the only black driver
Across this month we will be highlighting key figures and celebrating their contributions to history on our social media accounts.