Black History Month is about the incredible impact of the Black diaspora on the world

11 October 2013 by Mitty

Elroy Josephz dancing

The story of influential dancer Elroy Josephz is explored in the exhibition ‘British dance: Black routes’. Image © Elroy Josephz archive, courtesy of Sue Lancaster and Steve Mulrooney

Black History Month, which we celebrate every October, is always a particularly busy time at the International Slavery Museum, and in the education team we are even busier! My untidy desk is proof of this.

Black History Month is great as it brings people to the museum who may not have had a chance to learn much about Black history before. Black history isn’t just about Transatlantic slavery but also the incredible impact people of the Black diaspora have had on the world.

Black heritage plays such an integral part in shaping Britain as we know it and I think that’s why it’s such an important month.

A part of me wishes that there wasn’t the need for Black History Month, that it could just be seen as part of British history. But with proposed plans recently (though these have now been revised) to take key Black historical figures from the national curriculum I think it’s ever more pressing that we celebrate October.

It’s a great opportunity for the community and other visitors to come together and engage with these rich histories. We’ve got a wide range of events during October including many linked to our new exhibition British dance: Black routes. From talks, dance demonstration to an evening of archive footage. All events are free you just need to book. We also have great events for the whole family during half-term. There is so much you can get involved with.

A dedicated web page lists all our Black History Month events:

A major highlight is our British Dance Symposium on Friday 25 October. This symposium event uncovers the experiences of Black British dancers and highlights their contributions to British dance. Meet curators and local dancers and participate in a panel discussion.

  1. Jean Thompson says:

    To have knowledge of your past, sets you on your path for the future, and frees the mind of the search for identity and belonging. To be aware of ones heritage enriches not only your inner being but frees the spirit to be equal amongst others. The rich history of Black people has been hidden for so long, because of the ‘shame’ caused by slavery. Let’s unlink the chains that hold back progress, and reinstate the truth about slavery in the making of Britain, educate the future generation to embrace the true facts.

  2. Mitty Ramachandran says:

    Thank you so much for your comment Jean. You might be interested in hearing about our new legacies session for schools. We look at some of the the legacies of transatlanatic slavery through a number of topics. We felt it was important to incorporate Black British people that had been incredibly important but that students might not be familiar with; including Una Marson, Olive Morris & Walter Tull.

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