What is Black History Month?
October is Black History Month. This is an annual observance, encouraging us to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution Black people have made over the centuries in shaping Great Britain into the dynamic and diverse country it is today.
This years theme is Sharing Journeys, exploring the lives and stories of the people who came to Britain in the 19th and 20th centuries and helped lay the foundations of todays diverse society.
Should we get involved?
Black History Month is an important event to acknowledge, regardless of your location and residents’ heritage and ethnicities. Ultimately, Black history is everyone’s history.
Not only it is incredibly important to recognise and remember the achievements of Black people during Black History Month, but it is also a wonderful opportunity to celebrate diversity.
Start by looking at events that are due to be held in your local area. There may be exhibitions, social events and discussions nearby that you could take a small group of residents to. Alternatively, you may connect with local individuals or organisations who would be willing to visit your care setting.
As always, start your planning by consulting your residents. Do you have any residents, staff, relatives or volunteers who would be keen to share their thoughts or experiences?
Diversity is key when planning your events and activities this month. Aim to offer diverse options as much as possible; from the food you serve each day, to the music you play and the books you have available for your residents to read. Take a moment to consider the content you are delivering and how you can offer a diverse alternative, that reflects Black History Month and why it is so important.
- Buy or borrow some books from your local library or bookshop. Remember that many books are available in large print or audio format now. Refer to these lists of books, compiled by Waterstones and Penguin It is important that you aim to include a diverse mix of books throughout the year, but Black History Month provides the perfect opportunity to explore this.
- Watch a video clip of Martin Luther King’s famous speech. Encourage your residents to write their own speech, explaining their dreams for a better world.
- Hold a craft session, making a colourful handprint wreath, to reflect diverse community. You could either draw round and cut out your residents’ hands, or use pre-cut hand shapes from craft shops. Provide plenty of art materials to decorate the hands with. Once dry, stick the hands together in a ring shape, then display from a window.
- Involve your residents in cooking some special dishes to celebrate Black History Month. This link provides plenty of inspiration for soulful recipes to try!
- Purchase a copy of Black History Month magazine
Use the Daily Sparkle resources
The Daily Sparkle newspapers are a brilliant tool for prompting discussion amongst your residents. Our content can be used to trigger memories and encourage residents to share their own experiences. This month, you’ll find content relating to Black individuals that have helped to shape our country. From Millie Small, Chuck Berry and The Supremes, to Bill Morris, Mahalia Jackson and Louis Armstrong.
If you aren’t already a Daily Sparkle subscriber, now is the perfect time to take a free trial.
Download our FREE “Cricket Calypso” music and movement session plan by clicking here
- Take a look at the stories in our Reader’s Corner. Perhaps you have a resident who would like to submit their own story for us to feature? If so, please get in touch by emailing