From the 1st of October all the way through to the 31st, countries around the world will be celebrating Black History Month. Not only is it a celebration, but it is also a month that is used to educate people of all ages on the triumphs and struggles that black people have faced over the years. Black History Month was first celebrated 52 years ago. Black students and teachers from Kent State University proposed the idea back in 1969. For many years, it was celebrated in the US before eventually being celebrated in the UK in 1987.
In the next part of the blog, I will be looking at influential black figures from the US and UK that have made history.
Martin Luther King:
One of the most well-known individuals in the world, Martin Luther King, Jr., was at the heart of the civil rights movement of 1968. Following in his father’s footsteps, his various campaigns targeted laws and other forms of discrimination. He was an inspiration to many and still is. During the movements, he delivered the “I Have a Dream” speech, which increased public support for civil rights in the United States. In 1964, he received the Nobel Prize for Peace for his endeavours.
For more than half of the 20th century, segregation was enforced by local laws in the US. On December 1st, 1955, Parks boarded a bus in Alabama and sat in the middle. This was an area where black passengers could sit until a white person wanted it. The bus she got on started to get busy and she was asked to give up her seat. Parks declined, which got her arrested for disorderly conduct. Her arrest led to protests for over a year. In 1956, the supreme court ended racial segregation on public transportation in the whole of the USA. Her refusal inspired many people to stand up for African American rights, which helped to kick start the civil rights movement.
Dianne Abbot is a British politician for the Labour Party. During her early years, she worked as a civil servant, a reporter, and a Labour Party press officer. However, in 1987, she decided to run as a Labour candidate in the areas of Hackney North and Stoke Newington. Abbot went on to make political history when she became the first black woman to be elected to parliament. To this day, she is currently the longest-serving black MP in the House of Commons.
Sir Lewis Hamilton:
Although he has had a rough start to the current F1 season, not one person can doubt the talent that Lewis Hamilton has when it comes to racing. The Stevenage-born F1 driver has won 7 world championships, which is a joint-record with Michael Schumacher. As well as that, he holds the records for most wins, pole positions, and podium finishes. It’s safe to say he is a legend of the sport. As well as that, he is a keen promoter of charities.
If you would like to do some research of your own, head over to the Black History Month website (which can be found by clicking on the following link: https://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/), where you can find a variety of resources and articles. As well as that, up and down the UK, various events are being held to celebrate the achievements of black Britons.
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