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Councils celebrate 25 years of Black History Month

INSPIRATIONAL: Some libraries in Hackney will stage African dance sessions

TO CELEBRATE 25 years of Black History Month, local authorities across the UK will be holding events for children, young people and adults to honour and highlight the contributions of the black community.

Black History Month was first established in the USA in 1926 and has been celebrated every October in the UK since 1987.

The introduction of Black History Month was facilitated by the former Greater London Council, but it soon spread to other cities including Bristol, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham.

Councils in London are still involved with Black History Month and Hackney Council will be hosting a range of events this year.

Councillor Jonathan McShane, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, said: “In Hackney we celebrate black culture and achievements all year round, along with those of the many diverse communities in our borough. This season of events is not only challenging and educational, but will also seek to explore and debate how we can work together to build a future without racism or discrimination.”

Hackney’s programme will run from October to December and kicks off at Hackney Museum on September 26 with the opening of its exhibition: Sankofa, The Truth Behind Black History Month 1926-2013. 

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Sankofa means the wisdom of learning from the past to build the future, and the exhibition will reflect on over 75 years of the history of African and African Caribbean people in this country, the rise of Black History Month from its American origins to its beginnings in the UK and its growth and development across London.  

Hackney Council will also be hosting The Great Sports Debate on October 17 at the Hackney Picturehouse in a bid to explore how well represented black people are in sport. 

Libraries in Hackney will also be putting on a series of workshops including Jamaican speak performance, traditional head wraps and braiding, Afro Caribbean dance sessions and mask making. 

Other events taking place in Birmingham include What is the Future of Back History Month? (University of Birmingham on October 1) and The Pomedy Show (October 27 at The Drum), which is a mix of Jamaican poetry and comedy.
To find out what events are taking place in your area, visit your local government’s website for more information.

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