Black History Month

Black History Month is celebrated each year in October in the UK. The aim is for local communities to challenge racism and educate themselves and others about black history.

Black History Month (BHM) is an annual celebration to honour the too-often unheralded accomplishments of Black Britons throughout our history.

This past year, the Black Lives Matter movement has had a massive impact around the world. Issues of race and racism have been brought to the forefront of many minds.

Local events

Find out what is happening locally.

Saffron Walden Museum

The museum have on display a silk reticule (bag) which was made in the 1820s to support the campaign to abolish slavery. It was donated to the museum in 1927. More information can be found on the museum website.

Essex Libraries

Reading can be a powerful tool to build empathy, so Essex Libraries have created booklists to celebrate BAME authors and artists, and books to help people understand more about race, racism and experiences of racism. Borrow from their selection of recommended reads which include e-books and e-audio titles. There's a mix of fiction, non-fiction and titles for all ages including children and young adults. They have DVDs and e-comics too. Keep an eye on their YouTube channel and social media as they'll be sharing short reviews of some of these titles throughout the month.

Essex Record Office

Essex Record Office have wide ranging collections recording the history of the county. Included are interviews created by Evewright Arts Foundation for their Caribbean Takeaway Takeover exhibition.  From 2017 to 2018, artist Everton Wright (EVEWRIGHT), staff, and volunteers of his art foundation recorded oral history interviews with 10 elders who moved to the UK from the Caribbean in the 1940s to 1960s. And they also have the earliest record of a Black individual in Essex dating from 1580!

Black History Month icons

Joanna Vassa - a film (2012)

A short (10 Minute) period film about a young black Georgian woman; Joanna Vassa (11 April 1795 - 10 March 1857) who was the only surviving child of the former slave and anti-slavery campaigner Olaudah Equiano. Joanna Vassa married the Congregational minister, Rev. Henry Bromley who was the pastor in Clavering (present day United Reformed Church), Essex between 1827 and 1845, and He was a member of Clavering Reading Society throughout his time there.

Watch the trailer on YouTube.

The film will then be available to view on YouTube at 7pm on October 22 2020.

More about the film Joanna Vassa (2012).

More information


The BHM event creators have assembled a packed programme of events that inspire action, education, and awareness. Eventbrite have handpicked a cross-section of Black History Month events, including discussions with influential Black voices, open mic poetry nights, and decolonised history lectures.

Find virtual events for BHM on Eventbrite.

For more information, events and resources visit the Black History Month website.

Watch the video

Watch the BHM official video. 2020 has held a mirror up to the world and forced many to see the reality of racism in all its guises. From Black people dying disproportionately in the pandemic, to the horrific murder of George Floyd and no justice for Breonna Taylor - the 26-year-old emergency medical worker killed by police in her own home.