5 ways to celebrate Black History Month UK at school

Updated: Oct 23, 2021

There are lots of creative ways your school can recognise Black History Month UK beyond school assemblies and we've come up with a few ideas.

Black History Month UK is an opportunity to ensure that all young people, no matter their background, learn about the contributions of Black Britons to UK History. As David Olusoga said:“this is our national story, this is British history, it belongs to all of us.”

1. Take part in our #BHMLandmarks challenge

This October, as part of the Black to the Past campaign, we're challenging everyone across the UK to go out and take a picture of statues and plaques that recognise the achievements of African and Caribbean heritage people in the UK. Post your picture with hashtag #bhmlandmarks and don't forget to DM it to this account for submission.

2. Virtually visit the Black Cultural Archives (BCA) and explore key events in British History

The Black Cultural Archives has lots of resources covering different time periods with British history including Black Abolitionists in Georgian London, Victorian Britons of African heritage whose work significantly impacted the arts, science and technology, and the Windrush generations who campaigned for legislative change that transformed the lives of all British migrants.

3. Turn your classroom into a living museum to celebrate the lives of past and living Black Britons

Have your students choose a notable Black British pioneer they'd like to know more about, such as Georgian Black Abolitionist Oladauh Equiano and his Sons of African abolitionist group, Black Tudor trumpeteer John Blanke, or Dr Harold Moody who campaigned against racism in Edwardian Britain and provided free medical care to the poorer members of his local community before the establishment of NHS. Then using their research, have them create a living museum in your classroom. They can create posters and do presentations to show what they've learnt through their research. Our website is great way to start your research or you can review resources from the Black Curriculm, BCA, Museum of London, BBC bitesize, and Yorkshire Museum.

4. Discuss the Black Lives Matter Movement

BHMUK is a time to reflect and focus on the parts of British history that have been ignored and to explore the relationship between the UK, the American subcontients and Africa. You can explore the semistic impact of the BLM movement across the globe on talking and tackling racism. You will have probably had conversations about the coverage last year with your students but this is a good time to review the responses to it from government and institutions. Tools available are Newsround website and the Votes for Schools where they can debate and vote on topics.

5. Remember that UK Black History isn't confined to a month

Black History Month UK is an opportunity for educators to start diversifying the curriculm for the rest of the academic year. Teachers can make sure that all ethnicities are represented in reading materials and artwork in all subjects all year round.

Happy Black History Month UK!

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