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-----Original Message-----
From: CASBAH Project (Caribbean Studies; Black and Asian History)
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Roiyah Saltus-Blackwood
Sent: 05 March 2002 16:12
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Black History Month 2002


Good Afternoon,

Last month was Black History Month in America and I am aware that many
organisations  in the UK are already preparing for our October  2002 BHM
celebrations.  I thought the following statement found  on the Birmingham
Black History Month webpage
(http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/GenerateContent?CONTENT_ITEM_ID=2307&CONTENT_I
TEM_TYPE=0)   was a useful reminder for some, and  a  possible launching pad
for others.

SPREAD THE WORD!  Send either the statement below or your own  statement  on
the origins of BHM in the UK to organisations, groups and  individuals  who
are thinking of hosting an event for the first time this year  and who might
need some background information.

Best wishes,

Roiyah



A Brief Background on Black History Month

The Origins of Black History Month

Black History Month was established in the United States of America by the
Harvard educated African American scholar Dr Carter G Woodson. In the US,
February has been recognised as black history month since 1926. It was
thought that such a month was necessary in an effort to celebrate and
acknowledge the achievements of African Americans in keeping alive their
heritage, traditions and histories.

Black History Month In England
In England October is designated as Black History Month and was first
celebrated in 1987. The introduction of Black History Month was facilitated
by the Greater London Council. The Council selected October because this
month coincides with the Marcus Garvey celebrations and London Jubilee.
Therefore the first Black History Month celebrations formed part of the
African Jubilee celebrations organised by the London's Race Equality Unit.
From the London Boroughs the interest in black history month soon spread to
other cities like Bristol, Leeds, Manchester Nottingham and Birmingham.

Since 1997 Black History Month has gained national profile. The Commission
for racial equality has become involved in co-ordinating a national events
programme. This national awareness of Black History Month has also been
augmented by Channel 4 which features a range of documentary and discussion
programmes during the month.

In the UK the month has been used to highlight the histories and
contributions of the 'Black' communities. There has been some debate as to
whether or not Black History Month should be exclusive to those from the
African Caribbean communities. However, in the UK the Black History Month
celebrations have remained inclusive to all Black minority ethnic
communities (i.e. non whites). Therefore the word 'black' is used in the
generic sense.



________________________________________________________________________
Dr. Roiyah Saltus-Blackwood
Project Researcher

The Casbah Project, (Caribbean Studies, Black and Asian History)
The Institute of Commonwealth Studies
28 Russell Square
London
WC1B 5DS

Email: [log in to unmask]
Telephone: 0207 862 8816
Web-page: http://www.casbah.ac.uk
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