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Black History Month 2012

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by Joanna Sopylo-Firrisa (subscribe)
Writer by passion, administrator by profession. I check what life brings and turn it into writing.
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BHM uncovers corners of history which we're not aware of
Black History Month October UK Africa London
For over two decades, the month of October in the UK is marked by celebration of Black History Month. It includes discussions, performances and many more. This year, let it be a chance to fill in the gaps in history knowledge and get to know mixed society better.

This year Black History Month will begin with poetry master class led by Kwame Dawes and will continue with, among others, an exhibition of John Akomfrah, presenting videos, sound and installation commissions referring to memory, death and disappearance. This is only the beginning. Different events, including storytelling, historical walks, theatrical productions, comedy and panel debates, will take place in several boroughs: Lewisham, Wandesworth, Enfield, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Lambeth, Haringey, Southwark and Greenwich. You can search their websites for more details. You can also visit other London websites to check the program of BHM.

Purpose hidden in all of the events is to show richness of black history in London and outside of the capital and influence of immigrants on the city's and country's culture, history and everyday life. It's an amazing work done to raise our awareness and broaden the horizons. It's also a chance to see black history from more positive perspective than we used to, and get to know heritage of Black people. BHM is a huge encouragement and warm invitation to each one of us to get to know what we don't.

In order to prepare for that month, it's worth a visit to one of the websites devoted to BHM. Black History Month UK contains a lot of articles related to life and work of Black people from across the UK and all over the world. The most fascinating are the ones about first Black MP Diane Abbot and Sarah Forbes Bonetta, who arrived to the court of Queen Victoria from the royal family in West Africa and finally became very close to her.

It has been already 25 years since BHM is celebrated in the UK and almost 90 years since the first celebration in the US. The tremendous work towards making society aware of Black people's influence was begun by Akyaaba Addai Sebbo from Greater London Council in 1987. Its first event included a visit to GLC of Dr Maulana Karenga from the US and was supposed to mark the contributions of Black people throughout history. Nowadays, BHM hosts few thousands of events across the UK and is also celebrated widely in the USA and Canada in the month of February.
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Why? Because many Black people made the history and we don't know anything about it.
Phone: 0161 312 3501
Where: Around London (Lewisham, Wandesworth, Enfield, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Lambeth, Haringey, Southwark and Greenwich)
Cost: Mostly free; check each event
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