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Black History Month UK - 2023

Authored by Abbie Fray
Published on 1st October, 2023 1 min read

Black History Month

Black History Month lettering on a colourful background

Today (01/10/2023) marks the first day of Black History Month in the UK. October is used for celebrating black history and the contributions that black people have made to the development of our society. This celebration originated in the US, where it commences in February. Introduced in London in 1987, it has been celebrated annually since. Originally, it aimed to educate communities in London on black history and experiences of racism. It has since expanded to focus on educating the whole of the UK. Whilst recognition and knowledge of black history has come a long way since 1987, the month of October allows us to develop our understandings of black history.  

From the Roman Empire to the present day, black people have made huge, and often underappreciated, contributions to British history. This month gives us an opportunity to recognise and celebrate these. It also prompts us to question mainstream histories which ignored the influence of black people. 

There is still a lot of work to be done to achieve racial equality in the UK. Historians must aim to represent the contributions and experiences of all ethnicities. Although October is set aside for Black History Month, we must continue to educate ourselves on black identities and experiences if we are to challenge racial prejudice. We must also recognise the UK’s problematic, colonial history and the damage it has caused to so many groups, not least ethnic minorities. 

Authored by Abbie Fray

Abbie Fray

Abbie Fray is an undergraduate student studying History at Durham University. She has a particular interest in the histories of gender and sexuality.

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Notable Days


The British Online Archives Notable Days diary is a platform intended to mark key dates and events throughout the year. The posts draw attention to historical events and figures, as well as recurring cultural traditions and international awareness days, in both religious and secular contexts.

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