Wednesday 10 October 2012

Black History Month UK

Some of you may know already and some of you may not that October is Black History Month in the UK, in the USA it is celebrated in February. The reason why I am doing this post is because Spud is half black, he is mixed raced. Spud's daddy is African, he was born in the West African Country Liberia, he is half Liberian and half Ghanaian (his mother was from Ghana). 

During this post I will discuss 2 of my favourite Black History hero's, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, I will also talk about the slave days.

The aims of Black History Month is to:
  • Promote knowledge of the Black History, Cultural and Heritage
  • Disseminate information on positive Black contributions to British Society
  • Heighten the confidence and awareness of Black people to their cultural heritage. 
   Black History Month started in 1926 when historian Carter G. Woodson decided Black History should be celebrated, although black people have been around for as long as any other race it was not until the 20th century that they gained a respectable presence in the history books.
Carter G. Woodson
Have you heard of Rosa Parks? This lady deserves to be in Black History so much, Rosa Parks was born 1913 in Alabama. The US congress called her "the first lady of civil rights", and "the mother of the freedom movement''. On December 1st 1955 Rosa refused to give up her seat on a bus in Alabama in the 'coloured' section of the bus for a white person because the white person section was full. Rosa was arrested for doing this and it caused a lot of public outrage. Rosa received national recognition for loads of different reasons. Rosa suffered from dementia in later life, she died in 2005, she was the first woman and second non-U.S. government official to lie in honor at the Capitol Rotunda.Rosa Parks will never be forgotten in Black History.

Rosa Parks with Martin Luther King in the background.
Now I'm pretty sure you would of heard of Martin Luther King, he was born 1929 in Atlanta,Georgia. Martin Luther is best known for his 'I Have A Dream' speech. I have a dream is a 17 minute speech that was delivered from Martin Luther in August 1963, in which he called for racial equality and an end to discrimination. The speech was opined that "it will be a long time before the world forgets the melodious and melancholy voice of the Martin Luther King crying out his dreams to the multitude'', and that is exactly what has happened. The world has never forgotten about Martin Luther's speech. Sadly Martin Luther King was assassinated at the age of 39, after the assassination of JFK, he told his wife the same would happen to him (he continuously received death threats). 
The Great Martin Luther King.
It seems mad to think of such a thing nowadays but from 1500 until the Slave Trade was abolished in 1803 there was a lot of money to be made from buying and selling people. Yes I did write that correctly, people were being sold and brought, companies would go to Africa and capture men, women and children to be taken in horrific conditions on ships and destined for a cruel life in slavery. It's thought about 24 million Africans were sold to slave traders overall. These people were torn away from their families and loved ones, many not even surviving the horrid journey they faced trying to get across to Britain, the ones who did make it to Britain was forced to work for free, many hours a day with the most tiniest amount of food you could imagine or they was forced to be personal slaves to people. Slaves were not only starved, forced to work 18 hours + but they was also beaten very badly. They was used and abused in every way possible. By 1838 all slaves in the British Empire were formally set free. Slaves didn't get any money for all the work they had done, but slave owners were given money for the loss of the slaves! One example was the Bishop of Exeter who gave up 665 slaves so got £12,700 (around £750,000 today). 

So this is my round up on Black History just 3 subjects that are a big part in Black History Month. Spud hasn't asked any questions about his race yet, but I know when he does I will be able to give him some top history facts on both sides.
Until next time,
Jade x 

Credits: Wikipedia, CBBC and BlackHistory UK


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