October is Black History Month

Wangari Maathai (1940-2011) is one of the Black women featured by NFWI this month. She was a renowned Kenyan social, environmental and political activist. Wangari Maathai was the first African woman to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize (2004), and she founded the green belt movement in 1977 in Kenya which is now a global movement.

October is Black History Month, an event that has been celebrated in the UK for more than 30 years. The month was originally founded to recognise the contributions that people of African and Caribbean backgrounds have made to the UK over many generations. Now, Black History Month has expanded to include the history of not just African and Caribbean people but Black people in general.

Catherine Ross, Guest Editor of Black History Month 2020, says, “In years gone by, October has been the only time of year when the UK talks about the achievements of Black people in Britain. Hopefully, the events of 2020 will be a catalyst for Black history to be shared much more widely – in museums, galleries, schools, universities, public spaces and communities.”

If you follow NFWI on Facebook, you’ll have seen their brilliant series of profiles of Black women from history and the present day, including author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and environmental activist Wangari Maathai. Read the full blog about these wonderful inspiring women here. Not only that, but NFWI is also profiling some of our own Black WI members on Facebook. Why not have a look and get to know them better?

So what can you do to celebrate? There are lots of fantastic educational events available online at the moment. 

Friday 16 October: Join Dr Gwen Rose and Friends to discuss Spiritual Healing of the Wounds of Slavery and Oppression (£6)

Saturday 17 October: This event for young people, held by the Humble Gallery, highlights and celebrates the work of Black artists who migrated from the Caribbean to the UK during the Windrush era (free)

Sunday 18 October: The Batley Poets are holding a Virtual Open Mic Poetry Session which will give you an opportunity to hear and share poetry from the Black Community (free)

Wednesday 21 October – An Evening with Jeffrey Boakye: Th author of Black, Listed: Black British Culture Explored, will join Dr Fraser Mann, Senior Lecturer in Literature at York St John University, for a challenging and insightful dialogue surrounding issues of racism and social justice. (free)

Saturday 24 October – The One Woman Black History Show: This show takes you hopping and skipping through black British history learning about key moments in Black UK History that contributed to the world we live in today (donation)

Wednesday 28 October – Black History is British History: This Anglia Ruskin University event discusses how black history is taught not only with a focus on ‘African Americans’ but also Black people. (free)

Thursday 29 October 2020 – Black Hair Makes History & We Got it on Loc: Kouture Locs presents this history of Locs, the impact of Locs past, present and future, and a virtual gallery.

You can read about a lot more online educational opportunities here.


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