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African history revisited at City Hall event

PICTURED: Addai-Sebo with AJY Declaration

BLACK HISTORY Month (BHM) may be over but that's no reason to consign it to the “done that” list just yet. This year, the backstory of how BHM started in Britain is to be revealed at the Commemorating African Jubilee Year 1987-88 @ 30 event, which takes place at London's City Hall on November 26.


Most of you know that Black History Month started in 1987. However, few of us know about the African Jubilee Year 1987-88 period or the African Jubilee Year Declaration, which actually launched BHM as an annual observance in October.

The declaration brought together London boroughs to annually mark BHM, as a way of promoting better race relations by highlighting the contributions of Africa and Africans, from antiquity to present times.

It also encouraged the naming of buildings, streets, parks and monuments after progressive Africans, in order to highlight the contributions of Africans to the cultural, economic and political life of the UK.

At a time where gentrification is rife and attempts to rebrand BHM continues to gain momentum, the commemoration at City Hall will provide a timely reminder that BHM is part of the on-going anti-racism work, which councils are charged with promoting in order to create cohesive communities.

The declaration was part of the African Jubilee Year 1987-88 (AJY) celebrations, which to a large extent was inspired by the centenary of the birth of Jamaican-born pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey in 1887.

AJY also marked the 150th anniversary of the emancipation of enslaved Africans in the British Caribbean, and the 25th anniversary of the founding of the OAU (Organisation of African Unity).

To find out more about the BHM backstory, you can book a ticket to attend the Commemorating African Jubilee Year 1987-88 @ 30 event at City Hall on November 26 at

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