Black History Month UK 2021: what is celebration, when is it, activities, and what is ‘Proud to be’ theme?
The event was officially recognised by the US government in 1976 and then first celebrated in the UK in 1987
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Black History Month takes place every year, celebrating the heritage and culture of black people, and their contribution to British society.
But when does it take place and what events are scheduled for this year?
Here’s everything you need to know.
When is Black History Month 2021?
Black History Month in the UK takes place from 1-31 October every year.
What is the history behind Black History Month?
The event was officially recognised by the US government in 1976 and then first celebrated in the UK in 1987.
The celebration aims to promote and celebrate Black contributions to British society, as well as fostering an understanding of Black history in general.
Its origins go back to the 1920s in the United States, which then evolved into Black History Month and was marked every February.
This month was chosen in the United States because of the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass - the African American social reformer - and President Abraham Lincoln.
In the UK, Black History Month was launched in the 1980s in London and was largely the result of local community activism which challenged racism in British society.
Black History Month has now become an important date in the cultural calendar of many museums, galleries and local authorities in the UK.
The focus of Black History Month has also expanded its coverage over the years to include the history of African, Asian and Caribbean peoples and their contribution to Britain.
What is this year’s theme?
Black History Month UK magazine has launched a new campaign to mark Black History Month 2021 in October.
Inspired by the 2020 Black Lives Matter events, the new campaign is called ‘Proud To Be’ and will invite people of all ages throughout the UK to share what they are proud to be, for example, Proud To Be Black, Proud To Be Black & LGBTQ+, Proud To Be Me.
The campaign launched in September in the run up to Black History Month in October. People will be able to get involved via Black History Month UK’s magazine, website and social media, sharing what they are Proud To Be via letter, email or social media, including video and audio clips.
What events are taking place for Black History Month 2021?
There are a wide range of events taking place across the UK for Black History Month 2021.
Some of the events taking place include:
- Birmingham, 9-29 October: COBO: Comedy Shutdown – Black History Month Special
- Glasgow, 12 October: The Great Black History Month Quiz Night
- Manchester, 29 October: Culture Kitchen – Celebrating Black History Month through Cuisine
- London, 3 October: Black History River Cruise exploring thousands of years of African and Caribbean history, with line-up of historical speakers
- London, 4-29 October: Zari Gallery’s Honour, Remember, Inspire exhibition
To find what’s going on in your area, search for Black History Month events in your nearest town or city.
There is also a Black History Month resource pack which includes posters and educational material for those teaching it in schools.