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Black History Month

Black History Month

This month’s blog is devoted to acknowledging black history month. Black history month has been celebrated for nearly 40 years in the UK. The month of October is devoted to recognising and uplifting black people and the contributions they have made to society. It also highlights the significance of African and Caribbean history as it has previously been overlooked.

To celebrate we would like to share five influential black people who have made a significant contribution to society both in the UK and the US at different periods in time.

  1. Toni Morrison – Author

Chloe Anthony Wofford Morrison, known as Toni Morrison, was an American novelist, she was the first African – American women to win a noble prize in literature. She wrote 11 novels of which her most celebrated was titled Song of Solomon. She addressed themes of family, community and race throughout her writing. In 2012 she also received a medal of freedom from former USA President Barack Obama.

  1. Dianne Abbott – MP

Diane Julie Abbott was the first black British female MP and the longest serving black MP in the house of commons. And just this month she became the first minority ethnic parliamentarian to represent the Labour party at prime minister’s questions.

  1. Zadie Smith – Novelist

Zadie Smith, has written a number of novels, her most recent is titled White Teeth, which became a best seller and won a number of awards. She is born of Jamaican and English decent, studied at Cambridge University and she was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002.

  1. Maya Angelou – Poet and Author

Angelo was more than a poet or author, she was an actress, screenwriter, dancer and a civil rights activist. She was respected as a spokesperson for black people and women and her works have defended black culture. Her memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, was the first non-fiction bestseller by an African American woman. She also won two NAACP Image Awards Image Awards and was awarded several honours throughout her career.

  1. Ava Duvernay – Film maker

Duverney is an American film maker, she is the first black women to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Director. She is also the first black female director to have her film nominated for the Academy Award for best picture. She directed films such as, Slema and most recently the Netflix documentary When They See Us.

These inspiring black women have used literature, poetry, politics and film to explore their identity and culture and contributed tremendously to society.