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October marks Black History Month – a remembrance of the important men, women, and events in the history of the African diaspora.

Black History Month was first celebrated in the UK in 1987. It was setup and organised by Akyaaba Addai-Sebo, who then served as a coordinator of projects for the Greater London Council and created a collaboration to get it underway. It was first celebrated in London and has become a national institution ever since.

At WeAreTheCity, we believe in equality for all and will continue to help increase representation of the BAME community and share a variety of voices and opinions – and never has it been more important.

We’ve created a dedicated page to bring you interviews with some amazing Black women and men; events and networking groups across a variety of industries; and resources designed to educate and understand; all in one place.

Over the month and beyond, we will also be showcasing events, covering news and continuing to shine a spotlight on issues of race, equality and diversity.

Below, you will find resources on how to help gain a better understanding of Black history and culture and how to become a better ally:

Resources

Black History Month Resources – Find out what is going on in and around your area and resources.

Southwark Council – Celebrations and special events in and around Southwark, London

Black History Month Events

Events

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a stop to a lot of social events. However, there are a still a great deal of virtual events marking Black History Month. We’ve handpicked a few great events below:

01/10/2020: Trust Talks: Diversity & Inclusion – Black History Month Special | The Prince’s Trust

A one hour live talk with 15 minutes Q&A where we will hold a Black History Month Special live panel discussion. The Prince’s Trust are excited to present this special edition live talk to celebrate Black History Month.

07/10/2020: Black History Month: Quiz Night | Oxford Brookes University BAME Staff Network

Let’s see how well you know your Black History. From Black inventions to Black music, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test!

Oxford Brookes University is delighted to be joined by Laure Loutala M’pala (Ladyboss), CEO and founder of AfroShow UK, and Amanda Selormey, Brookes alumna and former ACS president, as they host this one-of-a-kind quiz.

A luxury prize procured by local black businesses worth £200 will be given to our top three quizzers!

08/10/2020: How to set up a Black network at work | Blueprinted

How to set up a Black network at work presented by Tobi Ruth Adebekun, International Communications Mger / & SnapNoir Europe Lead, Snap Inc.

Tobi Ruth is an International Communications Manager at Snap – parent company of Snapchat – where she is responsible for the communications strategy of partnerships outside of the US, including Europe, the Middle East and APAC regions. She also specialises in crisis management and policy communications. Prior to Snap, she worked at a STEM agency where she worked on a wide range of tech (apps, hardware, software, manufacturers), helped launch a number of startups, and worked with VC and investment companies. She was recognised in PR Week’s annual 30 under 30 list in 2019, highlighting outstanding talent in the industry.

09/10/20: Black History Month – From a Global Perspective | Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion

During Black History Month join our Global Webinar, which raises awareness and understanding of why, where and how Black History Month is celebrated around the world. Learn how you can advocate change, challenge discrimination, and promote Equality and Inclusion.

You can find more events through our dedicated Black History Month page, or via our events calendar.

TV/Film

Netflix’s 2016 documentary, 13th, explores the “intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States. It is named after the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, adopted in 1865, which abolished slavery throughout the US and ended involuntary servitude except as a punishment for conviction of a crime.

Directed by Ava DuVernay, the film explores the economic history of slavery and post-Civil War racist legislation and practices that replaced it she contends as “systems of racial control” and forced labour from the years after the abolition of slavery to the present

Books

Reni Enno-Lodge book - Why I'm no longer talking to white people about raceRecommended Read: Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race | Reni Eddo Lodge

The book that sparked a national conversation. Exploring everything from eradicated black history to the inextricable link between class and race, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race is the essential handbook for anyone who wants to understand race relations in Britain today.

Recommended Read: Freedom Is A Constant Struggle | Angela Davis

Freedom is a constant struggle recommended readIn these newly collected essays, interviews and speeches, world-renowned activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis illuminates the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world.

Reflecting on the importance of black feminism, intersectionality and prison abolitionism for today’s struggles, Davis discusses the legacies of previous liberation struggles, from the Black Freedom Movement to the South African anti-Apartheid movement. She highlights connections and analyses today’s struggles against state terror, from Ferguson to Palestine.

The Good Immigrant, Recommended ReadRecommended Read: The Good Immigrant | Nikesh Shukla

Bringing together 21 exciting black, Asian and minority ethnic voices emerging in Britain today, The Good Immigrant explores why immigrants come to the UK, why they stay and what it means to be ‘other’ in a country that doesn’t seem to want you, doesn’t truly accept you – however many generations you’ve been here – but still needs you for its diversity monitoring forms.

Inspired by discussion around why society appears to deem people of colour as bad immigrants – job stealers, benefit scroungers, undeserving refugees – until, by winning Olympic races or baking good cakes, or being conscientious doctors, they cross over and become good immigrants, editor Nikesh Shukla has compiled a collection of essays that are poignant, challenging, angry, humorous, heartbreaking, polemic, weary and – most importantly – real.

Me and White Supremacy Recommended ReadRecommended Read: Me and White Supremacy: How to Recognise Your Privilege, Combat Racism and Change | Layla Saad

Me and White Supremacy teaches readers how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of colour, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.

When Layla Saad began an Instagram challenge called #MeAndWhiteSupremacy, she never predicted it would spread as widely as it did. She encouraged people to own up and share their racist behaviors, big and small. She was looking for truth, and she got it. Thousands of people participated in the challenge, and over 90,000 people downloaded the Me and White Supremacy Workbook.

You can find more books about race, racism and feminism in our recommended books section here.

Alison Simpson
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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