Why do we need black history month? – Have your say

BHM 2010
BHM 2010

As it’s Black History month in October here in the U.k a question has been raised as to the relevance of BHM. I have outlined my feelings in Black history Month, why we still need it. However, I want to know how other people feel about it. I asked Toyin Agbetu, founder of the Ligali Foundation how he felt about Black History Month. His response is below.

 

Toyin Agbetu

The need for African history month is similar to that of a statutory body for equality. We ideally do not want it to exist but accept that whilst discrimination remains a fixture of society, we require progressive remedies to address and eventually eradicate the problem.

One important improvement to African history month would be to ensure that events strongly feature history on the acts, culture and beliefs of self determining Africans as opposed to its current focus on entertainment or first to mimic western achievement milestones.

However for African history month itself not to cause damage by reinforcing falsehoods of eurocentrism (see Samir Amin) then it is crucial that all black history month events are pan-African in character and place the restoration of African identity at the centre of their teachings – not nebulous narrow doctrines of hyphenated black nationalism as they do now.

Now it’s your turn, please share your feelings about black history month with us all here.

15 thoughts on “Why do we need black history month? – Have your say

  • 4th October 2010 at 5:08 pm
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    I am offering my Living History Presentation and Photo Exhibition to Community Groups, Community Organisations, Schools, Sixth Form Colleges, Universities, Trades Unions, Support Networks, Church & Faith Groups, Public Sector & Private Organisations.

    Living History Presentation & Photo Exhibition
    http://www.dmichael.co.uk/talk.html

    Reply
  • 4th October 2010 at 5:15 pm
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    My opinion is there is a need a black history year, one month means nothing that why are young are in this dilema. 4wks is not enought everywk of the year it is relavant…!!

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  • 4th October 2010 at 5:38 pm
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    Well Asher I agree, but how do we sustain it and who creates the resources. Also who is BHM for? is it for Black People only or everyone to learn?

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  • 4th October 2010 at 6:09 pm
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    I think if our TRUE story were told during this month…all of us would quickly celebrate our existence everyday of our lives.
    I also think we should teach our children our story every day of the year and make the one month set aside for White HIStory 🙂

    Reply
  • 5th October 2010 at 9:07 am
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    Agreed. we should but so many of us do not. So, to fend of the malaise…isn’t it appropriate that we have a dedicated event to raise awareness?

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  • 8th October 2010 at 9:42 am
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    Black History Month was set up in the UK to celebrate the achievements and contributions of people of African heritage all over the world. It was set up to be the statutory month focusing on African people’s contributions, not to be the ONLY Black history month in the UK. That is to say, it was set up to provide a focus for local authorities and statutory bodies on Black people’s contributions.

    I am all in favour of BHM, which I prefer to call African Heritage Month, as a means of focusing people’s minds. African people’s contributions are written out of history over and over again. This is an opportunity to redress this.

    We need it because Black history is part of world history.

    Of course, for many of us, every month is Black History Month.

    I have events listings here:
    http://nurturesuccess.multiply.com/notes/item/129

    Reply
  • 13th October 2010 at 5:24 am
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    I agree with Agbetu in that BHM is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The irony of BHM is that if it is successful, it will eventually eliminate itself. Unfortunately, that time still seems a while off.

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  • 3rd November 2010 at 10:39 am
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    “Black History Month” is STATUTORY. That means the UK government HAS to do it as a (small) part of its recognition / restitutions / reconcilliation / reparation. The net result of this intention, however, has historically fallen short of our own expectations. Further discussion at http://www.jazzreloaded.com/blog/archives/2395 which includes a quote by both Toyin Agbetu and Clive Powell

    Reply
  • 14th January 2011 at 1:33 pm
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    i have dual nationality British and American (Black/ Native American/European) and i think Black History month is for African Decendants only!! Full stop. Our heritage. Black history is there to piss off the Asians who wanna jump on the band wagon!!

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  • 13th February 2011 at 3:11 pm
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    bhm is important for black ppl as well as ppl from other races.
    english history is taught in schools so black children need to know about themselves. it is also good for other ppl to know, as many believe black ppl have not contributed to society or world history and inventions etc.
    i think that it could be better organsied to deliver the history as well as modern achievements of black ppl and to encourage black children to aspire to be more.

    Reply
  • 20th April 2011 at 8:45 pm
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    black history is american history. there is no difference. there is no fine line. Since the slave trade transitioned from a business venture for whites and blacks alike to a twisted and demented means to justify one races’ superiority to another, blacks have built America to be the most thriving nation in the world. With that said, I see no need for black history month. These types of divisions are meaningless. They are the founding fathers and their accomplishments deserve not to be segregated. The slaves no longer have a voice- it is up 2 America to stand up and give them the tribute they deserve. In a perfect world, black history month is great if complied with the year round acknowledgement. However it has been my experience since childhood that BHM lasts for a month with the constant teaching of how blacks were simply slaves, devoid of the courage and strength it took to be black back then. In conclusion, BHM is cool but the manner in which the hollywood, textbooks, and society portray this grave, yet courageous history can the naive black child ashamed of his own. If they can change the delivery as well as incorporate this amazing history wholeheartedly into American culture, that would be great.

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  • 20th April 2011 at 8:52 pm
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    p.s. I realize that this is a site exclusive for the opinions of BHM with regard to the UK, but I just thought a perspective from the other side of the water might be interesting

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    • 23rd April 2011 at 6:59 am
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      This site is not for Exclusively UK people, it’s for anyone. 😀

      Reply
  • 8th May 2011 at 2:07 pm
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    Black history month is necessary, more so for black americans. They shouldn’t allow their unique heritage to be classified as simply american.

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  • 18th September 2011 at 11:27 am
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    Greetings,

    I would like to add my bit by drawing your attention to a few articles I’ve written on the subject, including the latest – The Other Side Of African/Black History Month, which was first published on Bro. Toyin’s Ligali.org website.

    The key articles published on our NewAfricanPerspective blog are highlighted below.

    Regards

    The Other Side Of African/Black History Month
    http://newafricanperspective.blogspot.com/2011/09/other-side-of-africanblack-history.html

    Feedback To London Mayor’s Drastic Black History Month Funding Cut
    http://newafricanperspective.blogspot.com/2010_03_01_archive.html

    WHY WE ALL NEED BLACK HISTORY MONTH
    http://newafricanperspective.blogspot.com/2010/10/why-we-all-need-black-history-month.html

    Reply

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