What does Black History Month mean to us?

At Northamptonshire Carers, we are acknowledging Black History Month 2022 as part of our work to address diversity and inclusion within our organisation.  People from African, Caribbean and Asian backgrounds have been a fundamental part of British history for centuries but often their value and contribution to our society is often overlooked, ignored or distorted.  British education frequently focuses on traditional events and achievements. Black History Month gives everyone the opportunity to share, celebrate and understand the impact and contribution of *Black heritage and culture within Britain and Northamptonshire.

We are coming to the end of the first year of our ‘Making Carers Count’ program which aims to identify and support under-represented Black Carers from our community.  During this time, we have implemented initiatives such as the ‘Big Promise’ and ‘My Name Is’ campaigns.  Our Big Promise commitment has been the backbone of our recruitment.  We have doubled the ethnic diversity of our staff and continue to attract candidates from diverse backgrounds.  These initiatives are now embedded within the organisational structure and the ethos of the charity going forward.

Now we are on the right side of the pandemic it gives us a moment to reflect and think about what has happened to many of us over these difficult few years.  Some of us have lost loved ones and many have faced obstacles such as restrictions visiting our loved ones in hospital or not being allowed to simply hold their hand in their care homes.  As part of Black History Month on 13th and 18th October we are screening the film “Exposed, Nursing Narratives”. It is a time for us to hear the experiences of 19 Black and migrant nurses and midwives who were on the front line during the pandemic.

Northamptonshire has a rich Black history and Black people have been living in Britain for more than half a millennium. Black History Month is a time to learn and to increase understanding of what it means to be Black in Britain.  It is a moment to hear stories, learn about heritage and the positive contributions that Black communities have made to the culture of Britain and Northamptonshire.  At Northamptonshire Carers, Black History Month is important to us because staff have expressed a need and yearning to learn more so they can have an increased knowledge and understanding of the varied and diverse communities we are supporting. 

*Northamptonshire Carers use the Northamptonshire Black Communities Together (NBCT) definition of Black as people that may experience discrimination due to the colour of their skin.

Anita Neil, from Wellingborough, competed in the 100m and 4x100m relay at the 1968 and 1970 Olympics

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Fugitive American slave John Anderson who lived in Corby in 1861-1862 Source: Northamptonshire Record Office

Princess Kauilani at Great Harrowden Hall in 1892


Recording from the 27th Octobers - Celebrating Black History Month Book Event

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