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Black History Month

Time for Change: Action not words

To get to a better tomorrow, we can’t just focus on the past. We can acknowledge and learn from it, but to improve the future, we need action, not words.  We need to come together around a shared common goal to achieve a better world for everyone.

To ensure real change, we need real support from our allies. It’s time to reset your mindset and support us with actions, not words. Join with us, see something, say something, don’t be a passive bystander. Not just at the weekend in the club or playing sports, but on the street, in shops, at work.

Being an ally means moving beyond short-term or performative gestures and taking real, long-term action. In the workplace, in places of education and learning, and in the public sphere, this means having policies in place that achieve real outcomes. As an individual, it means actually practising what you preach.

In the wake of 2020’s Black Lives Matter protests, many organisations and individuals committed to tackling racism. This was done around the world by taking the time to learn about the black experience and additionally, in the UK, this included learning about the historical legacy of colonialism and slavery. That was an important step forward, but it won’t fundamentally change institutional racism today.

A number of recent reports have called out racism across a range of sectors, from international aid and education to healthcare and policing. As a society, we all know there is a problem with institutional racism. Now we need to work together to tackle it.

Black people are often given the double burden of experiencing racism and discrimination, and then being expected to fix it. Hopefully, by making the theme of this year’s Black History Month magazine and website Time for Change: Action Not Words’ we can come together to make a change for the better.

Yes, Black History Month is a time to celebrate black history, heritage and culture, and the iconic figures that have contributed so much, but this year, let’s make it about so much more. If you’re serious about allyship, it’s Time for Change: Action Not Words.



Black Medical Pioneers by Oliveira Library





Resources for Black history month

Click to download/access:

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Ally Pledge Card

Pledge Ideas

Black History Month 2022 - Time for Change: Action Not Words - Dig Deep, Look Closer, Think Bigger | UK BHM22 

Please see also the Equality and diversity pages on the intranet



Online Archives on Black history 

Black British History | The Black Presence in Britain | Collection of articles about Black Britain and Black Britons.

Black History Month | This Web portal is a collaborative project of the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. (Please note that the USA celebrates Black History Month in February, whereas the UK celebrates in October.)

African American History | National Archives | US government 

National Museum of African American History & Culture |  A People’s Journey, A Nation’s Story | Smithsonian | USA

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum | Special focus Exhibition on Black history | There were relatively small numbers of Black people living in Nazi occupied Europe and their fates varied. Black American soldiers serving in WW2 were involved both as prisoners of war and as liberators of the concentration camps.  (Please note this website includes graphic images of extreme brutality and mass death)

African American History and Culture in the United States | Teachers guide | | USA

Black History Month | US National Park Service in association with Association for the Study of African American Life and History | Includes origins of Black History Month, videos and resources.

Routes of Enslaved Peoples | Resistance, Liberty and Heritage Project | UNESCO - The "Routes of Enslaved Peoples" Project supports and promotes sites that bear witness to the history of the slave trade and slavery. These sites, which are necessary for the commemoration of entire populations subjected to what is considered to be the longest crime against humanity, represent true itineraries of memory.

1619 Project | The The New York Times Magazines award-winning reframing of American history that placed slavery and its continuing legacy at the center of our national narrative. The project, which was initially launched in August of 2019, offered a revealing new origin story for the United States, one that helped explain not only the persistence of anti-Black racism and inequality in American life today, but also the roots of so much of what makes the country unique. 



Last Updated: Oct 2022 

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