Let’s talk history…

Did you know October is Black History Month?

What is Black History Month?

Black History Month is an annual commemoration of the achievements, history and contributions of black people.

Who invented Black History Month?

The Father of Black History Month, Carter Godwin Woodson (19 December 1875 – 3 April 1950) was an American historian, author, journalist and the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. He was one of the first scholars to study African-American history.

In 1926 Woodson launched the annual February observance which became “Black History Month” in 1976.

President Gerald Ford officially recognised Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honour the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans…”

When was Black History Month acknowledged in the UK?

Black History UK was Founded by Ghanaian-born Akyaaba Addai-Sebo, who had served as a co-ordinator of special projects for the Greater London Council (GLC).

Black History Month UK was first celebrated in London in 1987 featuring several renowned women and men from across Africa.

Why is Black History Month UK not the same month as the US?

Woodson chose the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Addai-Sebo decided on a particular time of year that would engage most with the minds of children and youth in the UK, choosing the month of October.

Can anyone celebrate Black History Month?

Yes, Black History Month can be celebrated by all cultures! The month is a reminder of the contributions and achievements BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) groups have made and continue to make.

Over the coming weeks, look out for stories on AskHUE about influential figures who have contributed or had a significant impact on medicine, science and health care. This week, you can read about the ‘Father of the Blood Bank’ Dr Charles R Drew

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