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History & Concept

History

The event we refer to today as Black History Month began back in 1926, the idea of African-American historian Carter G. Woodson. Woodson was instrumental in recognising and highlighting the importance of celebrating black history, and organised an event named Negro History Week, to take place in the second week of February.

The timing was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas, two figures Woodson considered key influences on the lives and social conditions of African Americans.

The celebration of Black History Month today is associated primarily with the United States and Canada, where the event takes place in February each year, and to a lesser extent the United Kingdom, where a celebration takes place annually in October.

Although Black History Month has been referred to as “African American History Month”, the event is a celebration of the contributions of the African Diaspora throughout the world.

Concept

The Black History Month in Berlin program we have put together will allow and encourage people to learn about, pay tribute to, and celebrate the contributions of the African Diaspora throughout the world. In developing this program we have three aims:

To educate and inform the public about black history. The educational element of the program can itself be separated into three areas. Firstly, it intends to raise awareness of important individuals whose contributions within a particular area may be unrecognised, or have received little attention. Secondly, it will offer fresh perspectives on well-known individuals and events through public panel discussions and lectures featuring experts in the field. Finally, the program will allow the consideration of controversial issues concerning the African Diaspora by leading figures in academia and civil society such as racism, integration, and identity.

To recognise and celebrate key individuals, organisations, and achievements in the history of the African Diaspora in Germany and across the world. From Martin Luther King Jr. and the American Civil Rights Movement to the establishment of the “Initiative Schwarzer Menschen in Deutschland”, there are numerous examples of valuable contributions by and for the African Diaspora that the program will identify and pay tribute to.

To entertain and provide an experience of the influence of the African Diaspora through music and the arts. A diverse selection of music, performance art, and visual art will offer the public a more lively and entertaining, but no less important, presentation of the influence of the African Diaspora in society.