Celebrating Black History Month

About Black History Month

Black History Month originated in the USA in the 1970s and has been celebrated every October in the UK since 1987. It is a month-long opportunity to celebrate the fundamental role people from African and Caribbean backgrounds – who are often excluded from the mainstream, white-centric narrative – play in worldwide history and culture. It is also an opportunity for people of all backgrounds to challenge negative stereotypes and address racism.

You will find more information and London-based events on the Black History Month website or Secret London (links open in new window).

Celebrating BHM at LCF

Here at The London Community Foundation, we are committed to taking the time to reflect on our position as a London-based funder and to celebrate the work of Black-led organisations and communities across the city.

Throughout October, we have been marking Black History Month through internal and external communications, shining a light on the work of our community partners, as well as sharing resources and hosting events in-house. This includes a session on the history of British colonialism, with practical tips on how to evaluate and interact with it, and a Black History Month-themed quiz. If you’d like to organise something similar, why not take inspiration from the Mayor of London’s Black History Quiz? Or the Black History Tube Map, created in partnership with the Black Cultural Archives (incidentally, the alias for Brixton on the Tube Map). This fascinating project looks all the way back to pre-Tudor times to celebrate the incredible contribution Black people have made to London and the UK.

Our resource sharing has been centred on funding, particularly around racism and power dynamics. We encourage colleagues to share any resources, news and events, and to engage with the topic as much as possible over the course of the month (and into the future).

Externally, we have been amplifying the voices of some of the incredible, Black-led organisations we support on social media, our website and internally. Many of these groups have been joining in with this year’s official theme #Proud2Be, or marking the occasion with their own creative video campaigns, events and more.

Find out more about these groups below.

Croydon BME Forum

Croydon BME Forum (CBF) is the umbrella organisation for Croydon’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) voluntary and community sector and is the most well-profiled BAME Forum in the country. They provide a specialist infrastructure, engaging people, building capacity, and promoting equality and cohesion in order to support the voices of Croydon’s BAME communities. The Forum was established in 2003 to maximise the engagement of black and minority ethnic groups – who together represent 47% of Croydon’s residents – in all aspects of living and working in Croydon.

To be kept up to date with CBF’s events, search #BlackHistoryMonth and #Proud2Be on their YouTube channel or on social media. All events are also listed on their website: www.cbmeforum.org/bhm2021.

Black History Month is always an exciting time at Croydon BME Forum, where we always have a theme we focus on. This year, the theme is ‘Proud 2 Be’ where we celebrate young people, Black men, Black women, Black elders, and Black businesses. This year we will be engaging these groups through various activities in the community such as fashion shows, Young Person Brunch, Elder Pampering event, Black History Quiz night in partnership with Croydon Council and Croydon University Hospital.
Andrew Brown, Croydon BME Forum

Inner Strength Network

Inner Strength Network (ISN) is an essential service coaching and supporting women and girls who have suffered abuse and trauma. Over 97% of their clients are from BAME communities. ISN bridge the gap, equip them with life tools, support them to get jobs, volunteer and, most importantly, prevent them from returning to an abusive relationship.

You can see some of their 'I AM' videos on social media: @InnerstrengthN (opens in new window).

We support women and young girls and their families facing difficult moments in their lives, raising self-esteem and confidence through 1-2-1 coaching and group sessions on and offline. We are passionate about any issues of injustice and now act as a third-party reporting hub for hate crime. We promote love, not hate, in our community through positive campaigns which aim to raise awareness. ISN’s plans to highlight Black History Week include; The “I AM” campaign.
Maureen Bailey, Inner Strength Network

Newark Youth London

Newark Youth London is a registered charity working in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Their aim is to develop the skills, capacities and capabilities of young people to enable them to participate in society as independent, mature and responsible citizens. They do this through programmes of leisure, sports, social activities, formal and informal learning.

Since 1984, Newark Youth London has been providing sports, youth clubs and informal learning opportunities for disadvantaged BAME young people in Tower Hamlets and East London to help them improve their lives and enable them to be responsible citizens.
Newark Youth London

If you’re interested in being featured as part of our #BlackHistoryMonth social media amplification, please contact enquiries@londoncf.org.uk.