Black History Month

About Black History Month | 100 Great Black Britons | Events |People | Useful Resources

About Black History Month

See official Black History Month website by clicking here.

Please click here for the Black History Month in Bristol Programme 2010.

Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Voluntary and Community Service Fair - Monday 4 October, 2pm

A unique networking and information sharing event between Bristol’s many local, essential BME community services and other local agencies.  Members of any VCS organisation and statutory service officers are welcome to attend.
If you are a BME-led group this is your opportunity to showcase your services by having a stall, and / or giving a short presentation at this event. For details, download the event flyer here.


October is Black History Month; it aims to promote knowledge of Black History and the contribution that people of African and Caribbean origin have made to society.

Black History Month (BHM) was established in the United States of America by the Harvard educated African American scholar, Dr Carter G Woodson in 1926. UK recognition of BHM was initiated in London in October 1987 facilitated by the former Greater London Council, that selected October because the month coincided with the Marcus Garvey celebrations and London Jubilee.

The first Black History Month celebrations formed part of the African Jubilee celebrations organised by the London's Race Equality Unit. From the London boroughs the interest in BHM soon spread to other cities like Bristol, Leeds, Manchester Nottingham and Birmingham. Since 1997 BHM has gained national profile and the then Commission for Racial Equality became involved in co-ordinating a national events programme. Broadcasters such as Channel 4, the BBC and local media now include programmes focused on BHM in their October schedules. The aim is to promote the rich diversity of black people, black culture and the historical presence of black people in Britain.

In the UK, Black History Month has been used to highlight the histories and contributions of the 'Black' communities. There has been some debate as to whether or not Black History Month should be exclusive to those from the African Caribbean communities. However, in the UK, Black History Month celebrations have remained inclusive to all Black minority ethnic communities. Therefore the word 'black' is used in the generic sense.


100 great Black Britons

Click here to see a list of 100 great Black Britons



The programme of events for Black History Month this year has been compiled by the Equalities Team at Bristol City Council; we are pleased the Council has recognised the need for this valuable facility which was previously undertaken by Voscur, through the Black History Month page on our website.  Please click here for the excellent brochure they have produced.  In addition to the electronic copy hard copies will be available from 29th September; these can be collected from the following locations:

St Paul's - St Pauls Learning Centre;  S.A.R.I;  Ujima Radio; and the Pierian Centre.
Bristol city centre - Equalities Dept at the Council House, College Green; and Bristol Central Library, College Green.
VCSE umbrella organisations: the Black Development Agency, Russell Town Avenue, Redfield; and VOSCUR at the CREATE Centre.



People of interest - Bristol links

Dinah Black

In 1687 Dinah was an enslaved woman in Bristol who was threatened by her mistress to be sent to a plantation.

Although slavery had not been outlawed in England, there had been court cases that had made the transporting of slaves abroad virtually illegal. Dinah took her case to court, and eventually put a stop to plans to ship her out of the country. When Dinah's mistress refused to take her back the court granted her 'freedom' to find her own way in the world. Click here to read Dinah's story in her own words. Source:

Alfred Fagon (1937 - 1986)

A leading Black playwright in 1970's and 1980's, Alfred Fagon was born in Jamaica in 1937.

His plays include; The Death of a Black Man (1975), Four Hundred Pounds (1983) and Shakespeare Country, which was produced by the BBC. He lived in Bristol for some years and his life and achievements have been recognised by the City with a statue in the heart of St Pauls, near the junction between Ashley Road and Grosvenor Road. There is also an annual playwright's award that pays tribute to Alfred Fagon and encourages Caribbean writers in the UK to be inspired by his success.

James Peters

The first Black rugby player to represent England, James Peters played 35 matches for Bristol between 1900 - 1902. In 1906, he was dropped from the tour match against South Africa and many belive this was due to the colour of his skin. However, this did not stop him from continuing his sucess with the team. he went on to win a total of 5 caps for England. After his years with Bristol James went on to play for Devon and Somerset and later for the Rugby League of Barrow. He died in 1954 at the age of 74. It took another 80 years before another Black player was capped at international level.