4th October 2023 | Lieutenancy News


The story of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States.   

Black History Month is an annual observance that takes place in October in the United Kingdom and February in the United States. It was first recognised by the United States in 1976 and by United Kingdom in 1987.

Black History Month was established to recognise and celebrate the achievements of people from African and Caribbean heritages. It was first celebrated in the UK in October 1987, on the 150th anniversary of the Caribbean emancipation.

The month-long celebrations aim to address the historical underrepresentation of black heritage and culture as well as providing opportunities to learn, share and appreciate the impact of black heritage and culture on the wider society.

Black History Month in the UK takes a lot of inspiration from the American movement, but there is a clear distinction as it focusses on the black British experiences, black British history and key black figures from the UK.

The Theme for Black History Month 2023 ‘Saluting Our Sisters’, will highlight the achievements and contributions made by black women throughout history. It will shine a light on the women who have courageously battled oppression and advocated for change but have regularly had their work ignored and forgotten.

Black History Month will do this by commemorating the trailblazing black women from literature, music, fashion, sport, business, politics, academia, social and health care, and more.

Saluting Our Sisters means recognising and honouring the achievements of black women. These achievements need to be highlighted, so we all can better understand and appreciate the contributions and impact these women have made and are continuing to make.  It’s important for young black women to have these inspiring role models recognised in this way.

Black History Month hopes to inspire the next generation to pursue their dreams with a focus on themes like resilience, determination, self-care, and well-being so women can help their communities and, most importantly, themselves.

We all need to recognise our shared struggle amongst the different life experiences we all have, nationally as well as globally, and with this unity we have a greater chance of changing things for the better for all oppressed people. 

The celebration of Black History Month provides an opportunity to challenge negative stereotypes, learn about racism and its impact, and promote inclusivity and cohesion.

Black History Month is not just for black people; it’s for everyone by recognising that black history is part of our shared history.  It is a vehicle for change, helping to highlight the achievements and contributions of people from Black and Caribbean heritages.

Neelam Devesher DL


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