Black History Month 2023: Honouring pioneers in education

In 2023 Black History Month is as important a celebration as ever. We recognise the importance of acknowledging, celebrating and drawing inspiration from incredible black figures who have paved the way in education. 

Their outstanding achievements serve as an inspiration for young black minds and a reminder of the diversity that makes our society so incredible.

Why is black history month important?

Originally a week-long celebration in the United States in the 1920s, Black History Month found its place in the UK in the 1980s. Black History Month was created out of a desire to recognise the contributions of black individuals throughout history. 

October is recognised as Black History Month in the UK. The month is so important because of how it educates us about how black lives and experiences have shaped our society. During the month communities come together to celebrate, learn from and reflect upon the experiences of black people that have been previously overshadowed in mainstream historical narratives.

More than just a month

It’s important that we continue to celebrate Black History Month every October and the accomplishments of black historical figures. But that doesn’t mean the recognition and learning should stop there. 

An education rich in diversity

Black History Month highlights the need for a diverse curriculum, beyond just one month of celebration every year. For a long time many black historical figures, innovators and thinkers haven’t had as much attention in textbooks and educational materials as they should have done. 

Students should learn about and recognise these inspirational figures. Including their stories in an educational setting helps students understand the importance of diversity in British history and develop respect and understanding of other cultures.

Celebrating black mathematicians

There are so many inspiring black mathematicians that children can learn about in Black History Month. 

Dr Marjorie Lee Browne made groundbreaking contributions to the world of maths with her work on topology. Dr David Harold Blackwell is also recognised as a prominent black mathematician, producing two textbooks on statistics and game theory. They, along with many other inspiring black mathematicians, have shaped how we learn about and understand maths. 

We believe that in Black History Month 2023 and beyond, the work of black mathematicians should be celebrated, remembered and serve as encouragement for future generations to pursue their passion for maths.

Honouring black writers and their legacy in literature

There’s so much power in literature, and so many black writers have contributed to the world of literature. Children should be studying about these writers and their work as part of their English learning.

From the powerful poetry of Langston Hughes and his impact on the Harlem Renaissance to the Nobel Prize in Literature winning Toni Morrison, black writers and their work continue to remain relevant to this day and should be celebrated. We hope their stories continue to inspire young writers to follow their dreams.

Explore Learning embraces diversity

We make a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion at Explore Learning. We believe that everyone should have their talents celebrated and recognised, and every child should have the same opportunity to achieve their full academic potential. 

The ongoing journey and the future

We’ve made strides in recognising the importance of Black History Month and the inspiring black individuals who have shaped education throughout the years. But the journey isn’t over - there’s always more to learn and reflect on. As another year approaches we’re reminded of the importance of amplifying black voices in education and ensuring that the future is filled with more stories of black success and inspiration.

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