BLACK HISTORY MONTH
In February 1926 Carter G Woodson, an American man born to formerly enslaved people, launched “Negro History Week,” in part because he felt that: “if a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.” By 1976, the month of February was recognised by the American government as Black History Month.
Black History Month came to Britain 11 years later, brought by Akyaaba Addai, Linda Bellos and other changemakers working with Greater London Council. ey felt it was necessary in a climate where Black children were increasingly being sent to schools for the “educationally subnormal,” the National Front was on the rise and relations were worsening between Black communities and the police.
October was chosen to mark Black
History Month because, in Addai’s words, it brings: “a period of harvest, a period of plenty, a period of self-examination.”
Accordingly, our Black History Month writers are contemplative, thinking deeply about the material reality of Black life in Britain today. ey are writing about problems, solutions, and points of celebration.
In this issue of e House, Izin Akhabau questions the criminal justice system, writing about deaths in police custody and whether things have changed for the be er since the 2020 protests following the death of George Floyd.
Others are thinking about history.
Nels Abbey explores why it is harmful to spread misinformation about the transatlantic slave trade.
Others still are thinking about education. L’myah Sherae talks about discriminatory hair policies at schools while So a Akel writes about the importance of empowering university students.
More voices discussing everything from role models to Black Welsh identity will appear on our website and in the next edition of the magazine.
We hope that by reading these pieces, during this “period of plenty” you will gain a stronger understanding of the diversity of thought among Black Britons in 2022.