Black History Month Activities Article By Stella Muiruri

The annual anniversary celebrating the global achievements of the African diaspora is here once again. Has it ever crossed your mind how the proposal of the day occurred? Well, I decided to further educate myself on the history and found that the initiator of what is now known as ‘Black History Month’, was a Harvard graduate historian by the name of Carter G. Woodson. The story began in 1915, just 50 years after the 13th amendment was implemented, where Woodson, along-side minister Jesse E. Moorland, founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), which was ‘dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans and other peoples of African descent.’

In 1926 a ‘national Negro History week’ was shortly birthed, choosing the second week of February (In the United States of America) to correspond with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (a vocal opponent of slavery) and Frederick Douglass (an escaped slave who became a prominent activist).

This event encouraged communities and schools nationwide to organize local celebrations, launch history clubs and host performances and lectures. It was not until 50 years later in 1976 that the 38th President of the United States of America Gerald Ford, decided to officially recognize Black History Month, which has been recognised worldwide and celebrated in the United Kingdom in the month of October.

I am sure we have all participated in some sort of ‘Black history Month’ event or activity growing up. If you have not, do not panic, we have got you covered! Mojatu, in collaboration with institutions in Nottingham such as University of Nottingham (UoN), Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and other Black community organisations have collated a list of activities and events that are taking place in Nottinghamshire. Below are some of the listed activities so far:

Monday 19 October and Thursday 29 October, 2pm – 3pm – What is in a Name? Celebrating Black Identity and Culture presented by the Nottingham University Business School.  Are you an African or African Caribbean UoN Student or Young Person in Year 3 to Year 9 in a Nottinghamshire School?  This event will inspire your creativity and deepen your understanding of identity and culture. Are you an African or African Caribbean UoN Student or Young Person in Year 3 to Year 9 in a Nottinghamshire School?  This event will inspire your creativity and deepen your understanding of identity and culture. Sign Up Via Eventbrite: https://bit.ly/3kIrM1D

The Nottingham University Business School celebrates Black History Month with the ‘Name’ Challenge, which is a widening participation and civic engagement initiative.  The ‘name’ challenge aims to help young African and African Caribbean people to deepen their understanding of identity and culture as they explore the origin and meaning of their names.  Through research and sharing of name stories, the young people will ‘own’ their names and take joy and pride in their meaning.  The challenge is an opportunity for participants to share about their heritage, to learn from each other and to build more confident individuals who are respectful and tolerant of each other’s cultures. Award vouchers will be given to the best presentations in three categories:  Key Stage 2 (Year 3 – Year 6), Key Stage 3 (Year 7 – Year 9), and University of Nottingham Students.

Nottingham Trent University (NTU) have planned a special season of events and activities not just in October, but throughout this whole academic year, #BHM365 to celebrate the important black historical figures who helped make Britain what it is today. NTU recognises that the Black history experience is not limited to one month each year and have made a commitment to work year-round to host a programme of events, resources and campaigns to help create a more equal future for everyone. From film screenings and reading and writing workshops, to samba drumming and music talks, there will be something for everyone to enjoy and participate in. To participate in different NTU #BLM activities, please visit this link:  https://www.ntu.ac.uk/about-us/news/news-articles/2020/10/black-history-month-at-ntu-a-special-season-of-events-and-celebrations