In a blog for the Bar Council Judge Munonyedi explains how Black History Month started:
The Harvard educated historian Dr Carter G Woodson started the first Black History week in the United States of America in 1926. He wanted to promote the history of Black People in the light of world silence in respect of Black achievements.
Black History week started in schools, college and universities as a way of ensuring that Black students had knowledge about their history.
In 1976 President Gerald Ford acknowledged the contribution made by Black Americans to American society and urged all Americans to support Black History week.
In October 1987 Ghanaian born Ayaaba Addai Sebo a specialist projects officer at the Greater London Council (GLC) and later at the London Strategic Policy Unit invited Dr Maulana Karenga from the USA to speak at a GLC event to mark the contribution of Black people in the UK.
The aim was to engage with Black children and young people to give them a sense of ‘self-pride’ and provide ‘an environment buzzed with positive vibes, instructions and images about themselves and their origins’.
October was chosen as a month soon after the summer holidays and far away from any exam pressure.
Many adopted Sebo’s example and have ensured that as a society we all celebrate Black History month every October.