What is Black History Month?
Celebrated annually since 1987, Black History Month is a time to celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of the Black community. Black History Month UK was originally founded to recognise the contributions that all Black people have made to the UK throughout history. Now, Black History Month is much more than this. It is not only a time to recognise and celebrate the contributions of the Black community, but a time to reflect on our own personal relations to race and our relations to race as a country. It’s a time to pass the microphone, amplify Black voices and come together to work towards a better future!
Why Do We Celebrate?
We celebrate Black History Month to celebrate all of the incredible achievements of the Black community not just in Liverpool, or the UK, but across the world. Black British history is British history, and to not acknowledge the contributions that the Black community has made to our society throughout history is to not acknowledge our history as it truly is.
Black History Month is equally a time to reflect, to celebrate and to make reparations. To reflect on the trauma and mistreatment that the Black community has been forced to deal with for centuries, to celebrate the visionaries, creators and trailblazers that have made the world what it is, and to think about how we can all work together moving forward to make the world a much fairer place.
What Does Black History Month Mean to Liverpool?
Did you know that Liverpool has the oldest continuous Black community in Europe? For centuries, Liverpool has been one of the most culturally rich and diverse places to live in Europe. Our heritage is vibrant, our community is connected, and our hearts are filled with pride and love for this great city and everyone who lives in it.
Liverpool is only what it is because of every single person who has ever contributed to this wonderful city, because of every community coming together to celebrate one another, to uplift one another, and to share our cultures with each other. For Liverpool, Black History Month is another opportunity for us to celebrate our Black community. We are lucky to live in a city that champions Black culture year-round, from Africa Oyé, to BlackFest, to the Caribbean Music Festival!
However, Black history is still continuously overlooked and neglected by our National Curriculum. This is why we still need Black History Month, to fight for the inclusion and recognition of the Black people who helped build this country. The recognition of people like Emma Clarke, the Bootle-born, first ever Black female footballer in Britain in 1895. People like Dorothy Kuya who dedicated their lives to fighting discrimination and inequality in Liverpool. The countless Black people who fought to change their future, and made history in the process.
Events at JMSU:
We have a huge range of events coming up this month for you to celebrate Black History Month with us! From chilled Book & Brew mornings where we discuss literature from Black authors, to panel discussions in collaboration with SU's all over the country! There's so much going on that you won't want to miss, all designed to lift Black voices, spotlight Black creatives and offer a platform to our Black students!
Click here for the full Black History Month events programme and everything you need to sign up!
Beyond Black History Month:
At JMSU we are committed to improving the black student experience, we are doing this through our reciprocal mentoring scheme, our work with the Teaching and Learning Academy to close the Black Attainment Gap, and to develop a more diverse curriculum at LJMU. This work is one of JMSU President Lila's manifesto priorities she will is working with our BAME Part-Time Officer and BAME Students Network throughout her term to achieve this.
As part of our pledge for Black Lives Matters we are always updating our resource list for you with more things to read, watch or listen to, we have gathered links for community support and activists that are campaigning for change for the Black community across Liverpool and beyond.