Black History Month takes place in October every year and is an annual commemoration of the history, achievements and contributions of Black people in the UK.

People from many different backgrounds come together during this month to celebrate the positive role of Black people in shaping our communities.

The aims of Black History Month are to:

  • promote knowledge and understanding of Black History and culture, both nationally and in Bristol
  • acknowledge and celebrate the contributions made by Black people to the cultural and economic development of the UK

Black History Month 2022 events

The World Reimagined sculpture trail
13 August to 21 October 2022

Follow a trail of globe sculptures around Bristol, including smaller globes made by local primary schools.

Find out more and see the trail map on The World Reimagined website.

John Akomfrah – Mimesis: African Soldier Exhibition
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, 1 October to 31 January 2023

This film uncovers the undiscussed story of the Commonwealth soldiers who volunteered to fight in World War I: the war of their colonial masters.

For more information on this exhibition visit Bristol Museums.

All God's Children Exhibition
Bristol Cathedral, 22 August to 21 October 2022

Exhibition exploring the impact of slavery on Cathedral life in the past and present. For more information visit the Bristol Cathedral website.

The Extraordinary Life of Charles Ignatius Sancho with Paterson Joseph
Live streamed in the Bristol Central Library Cafe, Friday 14 October 6.45pm to 8.30pm

Online event hosted by the British Library.

Book your free ticket on Eventbrite.

Finding our feet once more
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Wednesday 5 October 7pm to 9pm. Free

Poetry and dance performances from a  variety of artists

Finding our feet once more - Bristol Museums

Fabric Africa family fun
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Wednesday 26 October 11am to 3.30pm

Learn about stunning African textiles and have fun making your own creations

Fabric Africa family fun - Bristol Museums.

For more Black History Month events with Bristol Museums visit Black History Month - Bristol Museums

Explore other Black History Month events

For details of more events in Bristol to mark Black History Month, visit the Black History Month website.

Strive internship

The Strive internship is opening for it's third intake this autumn. This award-winning scheme is coordinated by Hargreaves Lansdown, in partnership with the University of the West of England and the city council. The initiative provides paid work experience for students and graduates from Black, Asian or minority ethnic communities across a range of organisations in the region.

Last year's impact report found that 100% of interns surveyed would recommend the scheme and 100% of participating organisations would like to be involved again. 

Bristol's Black History resources

Bristol's Black History: learn more about Black history in this city, with stories compiled by the Bristol Museums Black History Steering Group.

Black Bristol: a project by young people from Off The Record to show young black people the history of the city they live in and how this city has been shaped by black people across time and space.

Bristol and the Transatlatic Traffic in Ensalved Africans - Bristol Museums Collections: updated and improved collection of resources and information about the transatlantic traffic in enslaved Africans and Bristol's involvement.

Bristol and Transatlantic Slavery. Origins, impact and legacy: A textbook for secondary schools.

Together Bristol Museums and Bristol History teachers have supplemented the existing curriculum about Bristol's links to slavery. This so that schoolchildren in Bristol have a better chance of fully understanding this part of Bristol's story. 

The origins of Black History Month 

In 1926, Carter G Woodson established African Caribbean celebrations in America where Black History Month is still celebrated each February.

After visiting America in the 1970s, Ghanaian-born Akyaaba Addai Sebo, a special projects officer at the Greater London Council, founded the UK's version of Black History Month in 1987.

There are two reasons thought to be behind why Black History Month is celebrated in October in the UK:

  • Traditionally, October is when African chiefs and leaders gather to settle their differences, so Akyaaba chose this month to reconnect with African roots.
  • Additionally, many thought that since it was the beginning of the new academic year, October would give Black children a sense of pride and identity.

Black History Month has since grown in the UK, where over 6,000 events take place each year.