A history of Black History Month
The first Black History Week, in the USA, was founded by Carter G Woodson back in 1926. He worked to promote the history of Black people in schools and wider society throughout his life and started was we now celebrate today.
Black History Month was then expanded throughout the USA and first took place in 1970. It was held at Kent State University and, for the first few years, mainly took place in education establishments, especially those with a high proportion of African American students.
It wasn’t until 1976 that the then President of the United States, Gerald Ford, acknowledged the awareness months and urged Americans to “honour the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavour throughout our history.”
It was until 1987 that the first Black History Month was celebrated in the UK. Initiated by Ghanaian-born Akyaaba Addai-Sebo, who decided to tackle “the identity crisis that Black children faced” in 1980s Great Britain.
When BHM was first set up in the UK, there was a huge focus on Black American history, but the spotlight has now shifted to focus on local Black British history and key figures from the UK. Since then, the month of October has been used to celebrate Black British greatness.
Get involved with the celebrations by using the hashtags #BHM2022 #BHM #BlackHistoryMonth on social media. You can also download the Black History Month Resource Pack on the official Black History Month website. Click here to find out more.