There has been much debate across the African and African Caribbean community and organisations across Leicester about the idea of BHM or BHS.
In 2002 Wolde Selassie former Chair of Leicester Afrikan Caribbean Arts Forum Consortium wrote about Black History Season explaining that ‘BHS is a time of the year when the Afrikan, Afrikan Caribbean and Afrikan-American people, celebrate the achievements and remember the tribulations of the last five hundred years dominated by slavery, colonialism and the experience of Apartheid in Southern Afrika.
The events that punctuate the season are mostly designed to raise awareness of the community at large as to how historical events shaped the present social, political and economic world order. It is a time when major contributions in the fields of science and technology, the Arts and other areas of importance made by people of Afrikan descent are marked by plays, poems, songs and other forms of artistic expression.
The educational element is a major aspect of the season. Seminars, workshops and lectures play a vital role in promoting the vibrant and continuing influence of Afrika and Afrikans on the world stage.
When taking into consideration the ancient and influential developments of civilised activity in the Nile valley and other areas in Afrika, this cannot be emphasised enough, in order that the respect and appreciation of such contributions to our present existence can be realised.’
The Black History Steering Group report for 2003 and 2004 shows the group were working towards creating a clear vision and direction for the future of Black History Season. This involved developing the Black History Committee into a consortium of organisations and individuals who have an interest and determination to progress the status and sustainability of Black History Projects. The Consortium will have a responsibility to ensure that a series of Black History celebrations occur throughout the year, as well as promoting the Black History Agenda throughout the curriculum.
African Caribbean Citizens Forum reported about BHS Consortium 2004 in Rapport Magazine:
Over the past few months, the Black History Steering Group has been working to create a clear vision and direction for the future of Black History Season. This involves developing the Black History Committee into a Consortium of organisations and individuals who have an interest and determination to progress the status and sustainability of Black History projects. The Consortium will have a responsibility to ensure that a series of Black History celebrations occur throughout the year, as well as promoting the Black History Agenda throughout the curriculum.
The Consortium intends to ensure that the Black Community and Voluntary sector are at the forefront of the development and promotion of Leicester’s Black History programme.
In July 2005 the new Black History Consortium was launched as an independent body in the organisation and development of Black History in the city. The intention was to extend the programme to include Black History experiences, events and activities all year round.
In the brochures that publicised forthcoming events they demonstrated that Black History Season referred to two months of the year: October and November. In 1987 BHM designated in October but after some change and ongoing discussion throughout the last 3 decades, the ‘Month’ remains the focus for Black History.
African Caribbean Citizens Forum, ‘Black History Season Consortium’, Rapport Magazine, Spring Edition, 2004, p. 8.
Donated by Carol Varley: African Caribbean Citizens Forum