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A celebration of black history.

Black History Month is an opportunity for us to recognize the outstanding contributions people of African and Caribbean descent have made over many generations...

won’t you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between

starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.

Lucille Clifton (1936-2010)

More poetry celebrating Black History Month is available here.
Librarians at the Latymer Upper School have put together an in-depth reading list celebrating Black voices and Black lives.

The contributions made by black people to the world have often been ignored or played down over the years and Black History Month aims to address this unfairness, by celebrating the achievements and contributions of the black community over the years.

Below we have selected a few of the most influential black Britons. A more comprehensive list is available here as well as in this presentation by DLD College London.

Mary Seacole
(1805-1881)

Mary Seacote was a British-Jamaican nurse and business woman who made an important contribution helping the sick and wounded – particularly during the Crimean War. Find out more.

Lt Walter Tull
(1988-1918)

Lt Walter Tull was both a professional footballer player and a soldier during World War One. He became recognised as the first black officer to lead white British soldiers into battle. Find out more.

Yinka Shonibare
(Born: 1962)

Yinka Shonibare is a British-Nigerian artist living in the United Kingdom. His work explores cultural identity, colonialism and post-colonialism within the contemporary context of globalisation. Find out more.

Baroness Floella Benjamin DBE, DL (Born: 1949)

Baroness Floella Benjamin is a Trinidadian-British actress, author, television presenter, singer, businesswoman and politician. Find out more.

Sir Lenny Henry CBE
(Born: 1958)

Sir Lenny Henry is a stand-up comedian, actor, singer, writer and television presenter who co-founded the charity Comic Relief. Find out more.

Professor Lyiola Solanke

Professor Lyiola Solanke is an Academic Fellow in the Inner Temple and Chair in European Union law at the University of Leeds. She works for racial integration, and founded the Black Female Professors Forum.

Lord David Pitt
(1913-1994)

Lord David Pitt was the longest serving parliamentarian and worked to defend the black population of Great Britain against prejudice and discrimination. He was also president of the British Medical Association. Find out more.

Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu
(Born: 1947)

Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu is a nurse and professor at the University of West London. She advocates for genetic conditions affecting minority groups and set up the first UK sickle cell centre. Find out more.

Katherine Okikiolu
(Born: 1965)

Katherine Okikiolu is a renowned mathematician. She was the first person to win a Sloan Research Fellowship, the most prestigious prize in the US for young mathematicians. Find out more.

Yvonne Conolly CBE

Yvonne Conolly was born in Jamaica and in 1969 became the UK's first black headteacher. She was awarded a CBE this year for her exceptional service to education.

George Arthur Roberts
(1890-1970)

George Arthur Roberts was a Trinidadian who served in the first world war and as a firefighter during the Blitz. There is a blue plaque in his honour outside his home in London and he was awarded the British Empire Medal for his work.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” - Martin Luther King Jr.

"Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn't matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong." - Mohammad Ali

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” - Frederick Douglass

"Wakanda will no longer watch from the shadows… We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe." - T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) from ‘Black Panther’