Black History Month has been celebrated nationwide for over 30 years and was originally founded “to recognise the contributions that people of African and Caribbean backgrounds have made to the UK over many generations.”
The original aim “was for the local community to challenge racism and educate themselves and others about the British history that was not taught in schools”. BBC Newsround.
The theme for Black History Mont this year is: PROUD TO BE
“Black History Month UK magazine is launching a new campaign to mark Black History Month 2021 in October. Inspired by the 2020 Black Lives Matter events, the new campaign is called ‘Proud To Be’. It will invite Black and Brown people of all ages throughout the UK to share what they are proud to be.”
The official Black History Month website includes a wealth of information about the past and present – including articles on Windrush, History of Slavery and the Civil Rights Movement. There are also details of national events taking place so that Black history can be shared more widely in museums, galleries, schools, universities, public places and communities.
During Library lessons, and at lunch-times we have been promoting Black History Month 2021. We have a poster display celebrating amazing individual achievements and a book stand - with new fiction titles and thought provoking non-fiction books. Some of these are favourites of the English teachers and will be displayed on posters in the classrooms.
In this heart-stopping adventure, Benjamin Zephaniah shows us what it was like to be a child of the Windrush generation. Leonard is shocked when he arrives with his mother in the port of Southampton.
His father is a stranger to him, it's cold and even the Jamaican food doesn't taste the same as it did back home in Maroon Town.
But his parents have brought him here to try to make a better life, so Leonard does his best not to complain, to make new friends, to do well at school - even when people hurt him with their words and with their fists. How can a boy so far from home learn to enjoy his new life when so many things count against him?
On The Come Up
As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri's got massive shoes to fill.
But when her first song goes viral for all the wrong reasons, Bri finds herself at the centre of controversy and portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. And with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it - she has to.
Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be. (BfB)
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Americanah
As teenagers in Lagos, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love.
Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are fleeing the country if they can.
Fearless, gripping, spanning three continents and numerous lives, the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning 'Americanah' is a richly told story of love and expectation set in today's globalized world.
500 Words - Black Lives Matter
Almost 6,000 children, aged between 5 and 13, submitted stories expressing their personal experiences, tales of empathy, learning and respect, building on the international conversation around Black Lives Matter. Originally devised by Chris Evans, the 500 Words competition has a rich 10-year heritage, giving children of all ethnicities and backgrounds a platform to express their imaginations and creativity through storytelling.
“Throughout history, black people have always been present in the UK but there has been a lack of representation in the history books”. BBC Newsround
Black Tudors by Miranda Kaufmann
A Moroccan woman is baptised in a London church. Henry VIII dispatches a Mauritanian diver to salvage lost treasures from the Mary Rose.
From long-forgotten records emerge the remarkable stories of Africans who lived free in Tudor England... They were present at some of the defining moments of the age.
They were christened, married and buried by the Church.
They were paid wages like any other Tudors. The untold stories of the Black Tudors, dazzlingly brought to life by Kaufmann, will transform how we see this most intriguing period of history. Browns for Books (BfB)
Black and British by David Olusoga
A short, essential introduction to Black British history for readers of 12+ by award-winning historian and broadcaster David Olusoga. When did Africans first come to Britain? Who are the well-dressed black children in Georgian paintings?
Why did the American Civil War disrupt the Industrial Revolution? These and many other questions are answered in this essential introduction to 1800 years of the Black British history: from the Roman Africans who guarded Hadrian's Wall right up to the present day. (BfB) 9-14
Set amid the civil rights movement, the never-before-told true story of NASA's African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America's space program. Before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as `Human Computers', calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements.
Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women.
Hidden Figures interweaves a rich history of mankind's greatest adventure with the intimate stories of five courageous women whose work forever changed the world.
Timelines from Black History Leaders, Legends, Legacies
This DK children's book boasts more than 30 visual timelines, which explore the biographies of the famous and the not-so-famous - from royalty to activists, and writers to scientists, and much, much more.
Stunning thematic timelines also explain the development of Black history - from the experiences of black people in the US, to the story of postcolonial Africa. Did you know that the richest person ever to have lived was a West African? Or that the technology that made the lightbulb possible was developed by African American inventor, and not Thomas Edison?
This Book Is Anti-Racist
What is racism? Where does it come from? Why does it exist? What can you do to disrupt it? Learn about social identities, the history of racism and resistance against it, and how you can use your anti-racist lens and voice to move the world toward equity and liberation. 'In a racist society, it's not enough to be non-racist-we must be ANTI-RACIST.' -Angela Davis Gain a deeper understanding of your anti-racist self as you progress through 20 chapters that spark introspection, reveal the origins of racism that we are still experiencing and give you the courage and power to undo it.
An activity at the end of every chapter gets you thinking and helps you grow with the knowledge. (BfB) 11+
Other Useful Resources
BookTrust as an excellent source for books and reading tips and for Black History Month they have put together a booklist of historical stories from Black History around the world. “From picture books to teen novels, spanning fiction and non-fiction, these books are bound to captivate and inform.”
An additional list of book recommendations can be found on Firefly/Senior Library/Black History Month 2021.