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Black History Month is a celebration of African and Caribbean culture and the contribution which those of African and Caribbean ancestry have made to our society.

Eton will be commemorating Black History Month this October through a series of talks and lectures, with the Provost, Lord Waldegrave, opening with a talk on Thursday 1 October about Eton’s great Head Master, Robert Birley, an anti-apartheid activist and friend of Nelson Mandela. There will be departmental displays, informal tutorials and school-wide celebration of Black history and culture, which includes a recorded talk or reading which will be sent to everyone each day of October whilst we are in school.

In the UK, Black History Month takes place each October to honour the impact which those of African and Caribbean descent have had on this country, and to educate all about Black history.

The event first was first marked in the USA in 1926 in the second week of February to honour the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, both of whom made invaluable contributions to the abolition of slavery.

However, Black History Month as we know it today did not truly start until 1970, when colleges such as Kent State University began to commemorate it across campus. In 1976, President Ford officially recognised Black History Month and it has since been celebrated each February.

Director of Inclusion Education Hailz Osborne said: “Black History Month is a time to highlight the history, achievements and contributions of Black people in the UK. The dedicated month at Eton is a way for boys to challenge stereotypes. I urge all boys to listen to the experiences of their peers, and to the astounding accounts of little known Black history which will be made available this week.”

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