Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month, is an annual observance in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom for remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. It is celebrated annually in the United States and Canada in February and the United Kingdom in October.

Black History Month tends to spark an annual debate about the continued fairness of a month dedicated to the history of one race.  Is it even still useful to dedicate a whole month of our year to the "hero worship" of a small group of historical figures that are often recognised for their achievements?  Morgan Freeman, a critic of Black History Month, said: "I don't want a black history month. Black history is American history."

When discussing the strengths of celebrating black history month here on Pop Up Nottingham, the same argument arose, and I posed the question, was black history a part of your education?  It wasn’t part of mine.

Yes, we talked about the civil rights movement, briefly, but we never talked about the influence black artists, musicians, dancers and other creatives had on raising the awareness that led to political and social change.  

Therefore, our celebration of Black History Month isn’t about hero worship, but it’s about celebrating those trailblazers that used their creative talents and success to affect change for the rest of us.  Thus, proving the importance of creativity on the world at large.

Our differences are something to celebrate, but that should not prevent us from striving for equality across the human race.  Our racial background, gender, sexual orientation, age, or religion does not define us, but our contribution to society might.

Article by Lucy G / 1st October 2012

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Why are we celebrating BHM?