Black History Month (BHM) is held every October in Britain
The aims are to:
Promote knowledge of Black History and experience
Disseminate information on positive Black contributions to British Society
Heighten the confidence and awareness of Black people in their cultural heritage.
The origins of BHM go back to 1926 when Carter G Woodson, editor for thirty years of the Journal of Negro History, established African Caribbean celebrations in America. It is still celebrated there in February each year. In Britain, the BHM has now grown to over 1400 events
The focus on African and Caribbean heritage pre-dates the work of London Strategic Policy Unit who, as part of the African Jubilee year in 1987, helped to establish the event.
WE CELEBRATE TWELVE PEOPLE OF COURAGE AND HONOUR FROM BLACK HISTORY
Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock, November 26, 1939) is an American singer and actress whose career has spanned more than 50 years. She has won numerous awards and her achievements in the rock music genre have earned her the title "The Queen of Rock 'n' Roll".
Turner started out her music career with husband Ike Turner as a member of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue . Success followed with a string of hits including " River Deep, Mountain High " and the 1971 hit " Proud Mary ". Allegations of spousal abuse following her split with Turner in 1977 arose with the publication of her autobiography I, Tina . Turner rebuilt her career, launching a string of hits beginning in 1983 with " Let's Stay Together " and the 1984 release of her album Private Dancer .
Her musical career led to film roles, beginning with a prominent role as The Acid Queen in the 1975 film Tommy , and an appearance in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band .
With a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas, President Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. He was raised with help from his grandfather, who served in Patton's army, and his grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle management at a bank.
After working his way through college with the help of scholarships and student loans, President Obama moved to Chicago, where he worked with a group of churches to help rebuild communities devastated by the closure of local steel plants.
He went on to attend law school, where he became the first African—American president of the Harvard Law Review . Upon graduation, he returned to Chicago to help lead a voter registration drive, teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago, and remain active in his community.
His father Earl Little was active in civil rights, and in 1931 Earl was found dead, after receiving death threats from white supremacists.
Malcolm lost interest in school after teachers rubbished his wish to become a lawyer. He became involved in a bad crowd and he was imprisoned for burglary in 1942.
While imprisoned, Malcolm converted to Islam, joining the NOI which sought to empower black people and he changed his surname to X, to signify his lost tribal name. He was appointed national spokesman for the NOI, where he became a popular and charismatic leader. He later renounced the NOI.
Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley (February 6, 1945 – May 11, 1981) was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician. He was the lead singer, songwriter and guitarist for the ska , rocksteady and reggae bands The Wailers (1964–1974) and Bob Marley & the Wailers (1974–1981). Marley remains the most widely known and revered performer of reggae music, and is credited for helping spread both Jamaican music and the Rastafari movement (of which he was a committed member), to a worldwide audience.
Marley's best known hits include " I Shot the Sheriff ", " No Woman, No Cry ", " Exodus ", " Could You Be Loved ", " Stir It Up ", " Jamming ", " Redemption Song ", " One Love " and, together with The Wailers, " Three Little Birds ", as well as the posthumous releases " Buffalo Soldier " and " Iron Lion Zion ". The compilation album, Legend , released in 1984, three years after his death, is reggae's best-selling album, being 10 times Platinum ( Diamond ) in the U.S., and selling 20 million copies worldwide.
Kelly Holmes made history at the Athens Olympics by winning both the 1500m and 800m gold. Kelly was born on April 19 1970 in Pembury, Kent, the daughter of Constantine and Pamela Holmes. Her non-sporting career includes spells as a recreation assistant, a nursing assistant and an army sergeant (physical training instructor). According to The Guardian: "Holmes emerged at a time when there was no lottery to fund a full-time athletics career. At 18 she joined the army's Women's Royal Auxiliary Corp, initially driving four-tonne trucks. She never gave up her interest in sport, however, and retrained as a PT instructor in the Adjutants General Corps. Despite the demands of her career. She became army judo champion, ran in the men's 1500m at the army athletics championships rather than embarrass the women, and in one meeting ran the 800m, the 3,000m and a relay leg in one day, winning all her races." During the BBC coverage when Kelly won her second gold, Brendan Foster said something like "surely we're going to have to call her Dame Kelly Holmes from now on" - to which Steve Cram replied: "Dame, Duchess, Queen, whatever you like" Kelly Holmes is the first Briton for 84 years to achieve the Olympic middle-distance double.
HALLEY BERRY ACTRESS Halle Berry is the first African-American ever to win an Oscar as best actress. She won the award on 24 March 2002 for her starring role in the drama Monster's Ball (2001, co-starring Billy Bob Thornton ). Berry went from the world of beauty pageants in the mid-1980s to a television series, Living Dolls in 1989. In 1991 she began performing in feature films, including Spike Lee 's Jungle Fever . She continued to appear in small roles on TV and on the big screen, notably with Warren Beatty in Bulworth (1998) and as actress Dorothy Dandridge in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999). She played Storm in the X-Men movies (2000, 2003 and 2006, with Hugh Jackman ) and the lead in 2004's Catwoman . Her other films include Swordfish (2001, with Jackman and John Travolta ) and the James Bond thriller, Die Another Day (2002, with Pierce Brosnan ).
Samuel Taylor Coleridge was born in Ottery St Mary, Devonshire on August 15 th 1875, as the youngest son of the vicar of Ottery St Mary. After his father's death Coleridge was sent away to Christ's Hospital School in London. He also studied at Jesus College. In Cambridge Coleridge met the radical, future poet laureate Robert Southey. He moved with Southey to Bristol to establish a community, but the plan failed. In 1795 he married the sister of Southey's fiancée Sara Fricker, whom he did not really love.
He passed away on September 1 st 1912.
RIO FERDINAND FOOTBALLER Rio Ferdinand was born on 7th November 1978, in Peckham, South London. He spent much of his childhood playing football on the estate. Peckham is known as one of the rougher areas in London, with knife and violent crime prominent, but Rio and his younger footballer brother Anton (who plays for Sunderland) kept out of trouble by working hard at School and concentrating on their sport. Rio was a talented gymnast and ballet-dancer as a child, but he only ever really considered football as a career.
Leona Louise Lewis (born 3 April 1985) is an English pop / R&B singer and songwriter. Lewis rose to fame in 2006 as the winner of the third series of the British television series The X Factor .
Lewis has become a multi-platinum selling artist and three time Grammy Award nominee. She has released one album to date, Spirit , in 2007. It became the fastest-selling debut album and the biggest seller of 2007 in both the UK and Republic of Ireland , and made Lewis the first British solo artist to top the Billboard 200 with a debut album. Her second album, Echo , is due for release in November 2009.
Lewis's debut single " A Moment Like This ", became the fastest selling UK single after being downloaded over 50,000 times within thirty minutes of its release. Her second single, " Bleeding Love ", reached number one positions in over thirty singles charts around the world. In November 2008 she set a record in the UK for the fastest selling download-only release with her cover version of the Snow Patrol song " Run " which sold 69,244 copies in two days.
Colin Ray Jackson CBE (born 18 February 1967 in Cardiff , Wales ) is a Welsh former sprint and hurdling athlete of Jamaican , Maroon , Taino , and Scottish ancestry, who now works as a sports commentator for athletics and television presenter predominantly for the BBC . Between 1993 and 2006 he held the world record in the 110 metre hurdles . In this event he won the silver medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics and gold medals at two World Championships, in 1993 and 1999 . He also won four consecutive European Championship golds from 1990 to 2002. He is the current world record holder in the 60 metres hurdles and the Commonwealth Games record holder in the 110 m hurdles.
MARY SECOLE Mary Jane Seacole (1805 – 14 May 1881), sometimes known as Mother Seacole or Mary Grant,   was a Jamaican -born British nurse best known for her involvement in the Crimean War .  She set up and operated boarding houses in Panama and Crimea to assist in her desire to treat the sick. Seacole was taught herbal remedies and folk medicine by her mother, who kept a boarding house for disabled European soldiers and sailors. Confident that her knowledge of tropical medicine could be useful, and after hearing of poor medical provisions for wounded soldiers during the Crimean War, she travelled to London to volunteer as a nurse. Relying on her experience in the Caribbean , she applied to the War Office and asked to be sent as an army assistant to the Crimea. She was refused, mainly because of prejudice against women's involvement in medicine at the time.
Oona King was born on the 22 October 1967 in Sheffield, and brought up in Camden. Oona's father is Preston King, professor of political science, and her mother is Hazel King, a teacher.
Oona attended York University, gaining a 1st class BA Politics (1990). She was also awarded a scholarship to spend a year studying at Berkeley-University of California.
Oona was first elected as a Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green & Bow in May 1997. She has campaigned on issues including anti-social behaviour, domestic violence, housing, fair rents, pensioner rights, immigration, electoral reform, inner city regeneration, comprehensive education, Europe, and a fairer international trade system. For more details on Oona's political career please see Parliamentary Biography
In 1994 Oona married Tiberio Santomarco, and they currently live in Mile End.