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October 2015… • October is Black History Month… • This is a month in which we celebrate inspirational individuals, events and history of people within black and ethnic minority community. • The UK has celebrated Black History Month every October since 1987. • Watch the following video and listen to some of the reasons why we celebrate this special month…
Video Feedback… So… what reasons did the video give for celebrating Black History Month?
Why celebrate…? • Part of the reason that we celebrate Black History Month today is because in the past many people were treated differently because of their skin colour, ethnic background or religion. • For example, members of ethnic minorities could be excluded from certain jobs and housing. • Many people in the UK agreed this was unfair and protested. • For example, in April 1963 a small group of West Indian and African origin Bristolians challenged the Bristol Omnibus Company policy of refusing to employ black and ethnic minority staff to work on buses. • This eventually resulted in the Bristol Bus Boycott in which members of the public refused to use the buses until this bar on employment was lifted four months later. Bonus History Question: When has there been another important bus boycott in black history?
Discussion… Do you think there are nationwide rules about treating members of different ethnic communities equally when offering jobs and employment?
Nationwide Rules… • Parliament’s role is to pass new laws for the whole of the UK on a range of issues and in 1968 it passed the Race Relations Act. • This law made it illegal to discriminate against people on the "grounds of colour, race, or ethnic or national origins" in public places. • The Act made it illegal to ban people from certain public places such as swimming pools and hotels on the basis of their skin colour. • This Act did not cover all discrimination, for example it was still possible to discriminate against people in shops by refusing to serve them or overcharging. • However, it did start the UK on a journey towards equality for all. • Since 1965 further Acts have been passed outlawing discrimination on the grounds of race and other
Reflection… • Black History Month gives us a chance to look at history and celebrate individuals from the black and ethnic minority community that are not always celebrated. • But, as discussed in the video, there also many people who think Black History should be a bigger part of what we learn every day…
Thoughts & Discussion! Why is it important to celebrate Black History Month? What are the advantages? And are there any disadvantages? • In the video, Dawn Butler says she hopes there will be a time when Black History Month is no longer needed. Why does she say this? Do you think there will be a time when we don’t need to celebrate Black History Month anymore? What might society look like, if this were the case?
Final Thoughts! ü Everyone’s culture and history is one important way of ensuring equality for all. ü The Race Relations Act was an important first step in ensuring such equality for everyone in the UK, and it helped to ensure that people were not discriminated against due to the colour of their skin or their ethnic background.