Black History Month is recognised and celebrated in the UK during the month of October. Different to the US and parts of Europe, which takes place during February each year, this month recognises the contribution of Black people to the history and makeup of the UK, and celebrating their achievements and successes.
When and why Black History Month is celebrated
The UK Black History Month was first launched in the 1980s in London and is celebrated in October. Its aim was to educate the local community on the challenges of racism and about the black history that wasn’t taught in schools as well as give children and young people the chance to celebrate their origins. Today, we have come a long way but we can always learn more and be better.
UK Black History Month is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the contributions made by Black people in the UK. It also is a reminder of the importance of continual education around personal biases, prejudice and the impact our words and actions could have on others. We all have a part to play in creating an inclusive and equal workplace and society.
The importance of Black History Month today
This year’s celebration of UK Black History Month may resonate in new ways, given the sweeping changes and widespread protests across the world including the UK the past summer. In the context of today’s world, it is especially important to recognise the history and meaning behind this month and continue to actively work on meaningful change to realise equality on all levels within organisations.
Despite the effort of many individuals, organisations and corporations, there is still a lot of work to do around tackling racial prejudice and achieving equality, diversity and inclusion in many business environments. In fact, in 2019, only 1.5% of top leadership positions were held by black people in the UK, a number that has barely increased in the last 5 years.
How to learn more
There is a multitude of resources available to individuals and businesses on a broad range of topics related to equality, diversity and inclusion: