Following the fantastic array of events hosted by our networks throughout Inclusion Month, I am pleased to provide an introduction to our celebration of Black History Month at CBRE UK. As you will be aware, every October the UK commemorates the vast achievements and contributions of Black Britons to British society and the world.
When did it all start?
Its origins date back to the 1920s and was fuelled by historian Carter G. Woodson's desire to challenge preconceptions at the time and preserve the history of African Americans in the US. Following the civil rights movement and the Black Power Movement, Black History Month was established in 1969. In the US, it is celebrated in February as it marks the birthdays of two key figures in the abolition of slavery, former US President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
After visiting the US in the 1970s, Akyaaba Addai-Sebo, a special projects officer at the Greater London Council, founded the UK's version of Black History Month in 1987 in London. This was largely born out of local community activism which challenged racism and sought to educate the Black community and others about aspects of British history which were not taught in schools.
Why is it important?
Black History Month is an opportunity to reflect on the diverse histories of those of African and Caribbean descent, taking note of the achievements and contributions to the social, political, economic and cultural development of the UK. Black history is an integral part of British history which ought to be remembered all year around however, I embrace this period as it serves as a platform to continue my own education and provides an opportunity to learn more about the various Black communities across the UK.
Throughout the month of October, our REACH Network will be hosting some great events and sharing with you a series of interesting facts, interviews and spotlights on some of our fantastic colleagues. I encourage you join me in celebrating the achievements of the Black community both past and present.
Global Head of Capital Advisors
REACH Network Executive Sponsor
Black History Month Employee Quotes