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Black History Month


Teachers around the country are decking out their doors for Black History Month

To both inspire and inform their students about Black History Month, various teachers around the country are decorating their classroom doors — but they’re taking their decorations to the next level.

The paper and fabric-based designs are larger-than-life, depicting faces of famous black figures throughout history and boasting vibrant colors. One teacher created a door dedicated to Ruby Bridges, the first African-American student to desegregate an all-white school district in 1960, with the message: “We are brave like Ruby.”

Here are a few of the most awe-inspiring doors shared on Instagram and Twitter for this year’s Black History Month.

This teacher at Lake Alfred Elementary School in Florida created an amazing portrait for her classroom door

A post shared by Chanique Davis (@takachanique)

She titled it Black History Month, and the art club at her school helped her create the character’s lifelike hair.

This first grade dual language teacher explains the story of Ruby Bridges through her intricate door artwork

In her photo’s caption, Instagram user isapartycreations says she always kicks off Black History Month by sharing Ruby Bridges’ story, and asks her students to write about bravery.

Bridges was the first African-American student to integrate an all-white elementary school in New Orleans, Louisiana, when she was only 6 years old in 1960. She has since become a civil rights activist and speaker.

A New Jersey teacher did a “guess who” door, challenging students to see if they could figure out whose portrait this was

Spoiler: It’s the face of Kenya Moore Daly, the second black woman to be crowned Miss USA in 1993.

Other teachers used collages, vibrant colors, and inspirational quotes for their doors


The quote “Who are you not to be?” can be found in the background of this door decoration, toward the left side.

The question is from a poem by Marianne Williamson called “Our Deepest Fear,” in which she writes, “We ask ourselves/Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?/Actually, who are you not to be?”

Brooklyn teacher Hollie Tubbs created this larger-than-life design for her special education students

Special education teacher Hollie Tubbs teaches in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and made waves after creating this larger-than-life door for Black History Month. Its design was purposefully layered and tactile, so that her autistic students could interact with the display.

Tubbs told the New York Daily News, “I wanted it to be a black woman’s face. I wanted her to pay homage to all the other African-Americans who were successful in their own right in various fields.”

The project took her over five hours. People were in awe of the realistic portrait, and it has since racked up nearly 90,000 likes on Twitter.

And this teacher recreated her school photo from eighth grade, showing her students that they can be their own inspiration

She wrote in her caption: “My 8yr old self is the person I admire the most … at such a young age I knew my trials and tribulations were only temporary and here I am today! One day I hope I’ll get a call from one of my students expressing how I inspired them!”

Mrs. Berlotto from Ludlow Middle School in Philadelphia depicted singer Diana Ross on her door

A giant portrait of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick hangs on this elementary school teacher’s door

View image on Twitter

Source: Insider


14 Black History Month Events in The UK (2017)

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Black History Month in the UK. As usual, there are several amazing events going on through October and beyond. Here are just a few:

Black History Month Events:



Black Skin White Mask

New Walk Jazz – celebrating Jazz Music and Black History Month, New Walk Museum & Art Gallery hosts its inaugural Jazz Music Concert Season – New Walk Jazz in their renowned fine art and music venue the Victorian Art Gallery. (Thursday 12, 19 and 26 October 7:00pm – 10:00pm)

Lost Legends is an exhibition that celebrates the contributions of Leicester’s African and African Caribbean community to the cultural heritage of the UK over the last three decades. (Ends Tuesday 31 October)

Black Skin White Mask – Exploring the life and work of the psychoanalytic theorist and activist Frantz Fanon, the Martinican-born, Paris-educated author, intellectual and activist. With his interest in violence, Black identity and psychiatry, tracing Fanon’s involvement in the anti-colonial struggle in Algeria and throughout the world. (October 18th)

 Greater London

Hank Willis Thomas: The Beautiful Game

Hank Willis Thomas: The Beautiful Game – In his first solo exhibition in the UK at Ben Brown Fine Arts, Hank Willis Thomas presents The Beautiful Game comprising new floor and wall based sculptures and quilts. The Beautiful Game will explore the intersection of art, sports and geopolitics.  (until 24 NOV 2017)

Join Dr. Boyce Watkins as he visits London in his mission to empower black people through the method of teaching financial literacy. Dr. Boyce will be at the historical venue “The Rock Tower” (from October 13th to the 14th)

Dr. Boyce Watkins

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power – The show opens in 1963 at the height of the Civil Rights movement and its dreams of integration. Artists responded to these times by provoking, confronting, and confounding expectations. Their momentum makes for an electrifying visual journey.  (Until October 22nd)

Basquiat: Boom for Real is the first large-scale exhibition in the UK of the work of American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960—1988). Basquiat: Boom for Real brings together an outstanding selection of more than 100 works, many never before seen in the UK. (Until January 28th 2018)

Basquiat: Boom for Real

Black Sound – Black Sound tells the story of 100 years of musical creativity and DIY ingenuity. Black British music has migrated from the margins to re-master the mainstream. This exhibition celebrates the pioneers that made it happen – the players, the promoters, the producers and the punters that changed Britain’s cultural history. (Until November 4th)

Africa on the Square – This popular event continues to grow with over 25,000 attending last year as it celebrates African arts and culture. You can expect another fantastic line-up of entertainment including live music, dancing and a talent show. Plus an African market, food stalls, fashion show and lots of fun stuff for kids. (October 14th)

Africa On The Square

The UK Black Business Show – The show will highlight the achievements and contributions black businesses have made to the economy. Attendees will gain cutting-edge insight and advice in entrepreneurship, leadership, soft skills and cultural development from some of the UK’s leading black business owners.


Three Days… a Queen, a Prince and a ‘King’ – A display celebrating 40 years since World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali visited South Shields, featuring images and objects from his visit. (Until December 16th)


Black History Month
Lubaina Himid

Lubaina Himid: Meticulous Observations and Naming the Money features works selected by Lubaina from the Arts Council Collection, alongside 20 figures from her major installation Naming the Money.

The full installation Naming the Money was gifted by the artist to the International Slavery Museum. It addresses how Europe’s wealthy classes spent their money and flaunted their power in the 18th and 19th centuries, by using enslaved African men and women. (Until March 2018)

Ink and Blood –  a curator-led tour of our fascinating exhibition Ink and blood: stories of abolition, which brings together iconic documents and rare objects to explore the stories of those affected by abolition (the ending of slavery) and later freedom. (October 19th)


Black Ballet – In this latest mixed bill, Artistic Director Cassa Pancho commissions bold choreography once more, blending the classical and contemporary, narrative and abstract, for her ballet company comprising British and international dancers of black and Asian descent.


Check out the other BHM @30 events at



by Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson

IG @thebusyafrican



22 Black History Month Events in the UK this October

Black History Month celebrations have been taking place in the UK since 1987. A Ghanaian named Akyaaba Addai-Sebo is credited with getting it started in the UK. Back then, Akyaaba worked as a coordinator of special projects for the Greater London Council. The Council selected October because the month coincided with the Marcus Garvey celebrations and London Jubilee.

We can all agree on how important it is to remember, acknowledge and celebrate the important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. This October, several events all over the UK will be doing just that:

BHM Events in the UK

Afro Supa Hero (Liverpool) Through December 31st : This exhibition provides a snapshot of Jon Daniel’s personal journey of self discovery, through his collection of pop cultural heroes and heroines of the African diaspora.


Contemporary African Art Fair (Westminster) October 6th – October 9th: 1:54 will spotlight the work of over 110 African and African Diasporan artists. The 2016 edition of the fair will feature 40 galleries from 18 countries.


The Dandy Lion Project (Brighton) Through October 30th: The first comprehensive exhibition of its kind, The Dandy Lion Project highlights young men and women in cityscapes, defying stereotypical and monolithic understandings of Black male identity. The exhibition presents more than 150 images from over thirty photographers and filmmakers. For a list of screenings, panel discussions and more, see our recent interview with the exhibitions curator, Shantrelle P. Lewis.

Black History month

Africa on the Square (Greater London) October 15th: This popular event returns to Trafalgar Square to celebrate African arts and culture. Expect a fantastic line-up of entertainment including live music, DJs, dancing and a talent show.


Dakar 66: Fifty Years On (Liverpool) October 14th: In April 1966, legendary jazz musician Duke Ellington traveled to Dakar, Senegal, with his orchestra to play at the first “World Festival of Negro Arts.” This screening tells the story of the event using photographs, rarely seen documentary films and newly filmed interviews with participants.image-20160316-30227-1n3uldl

One Night In Miami (Westminister) October 6th – December 3rd : Shortly after winning the world heavyweight boxing title, 22-year-old Cassius Clay – soon to become Muhammad Ali – celebrates in Miami with close friends Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown. The UK premiere of Kemp Powers’ fictionalised drama imagines what might have happened in a tiny hotel room as the Civil Rights movement stirs outside.Black history month

Twilight Talk: The Birth of Cool (Bath) October 13th: Professor Carol Tulloch will showcase and share stories and images of black fashion and style in Britain, drawing on the research for her recent book ‘The Birth of Cool’. “This obsession with dressing well is almost part of the DNA in the black community”, noted Tulloch in a recent interview and this talk at the Fashion Museum will explore those thoughts further. Includes wine reception.screen-shot-2016-08-12-at-12-43-00-1

Motown the Musical (London) Through October 28th: It follows the legendary career of Berry Gordy and the creation of his musical empire, Motown Records. The story begins in 1983, on the evening of the 25th anniversary celebration of Motown, and Berry Gordy is looking back on his career.


 Vasco Araújo: Decolonial Desire (Islington) October 7th – December 3rd: In this exhibition, Portuguese artist Araújo uses photography, art installations and video to explore how the trauma of the colonial encounter continues to haunt the modern world. This is the first solo show in the UK for this internationally renowned artist, and includes new commissions and never-before-seen works.Black History Month The Black Jacobins – Brixton Radical Reads book group special (Brixton) October 14th: Join the reading group to discuss C L R James’s The Black Jacobins. In 1789 the West Indian colony of San Domingo supplied two-thirds of the overseas trade of France on the labour of half a million slaves. In this classic work, CLR James chronicles the only successful slave revolt in history and provides a critical portrait of its leader, Toussaint L’Ouverture, ‘one of the most remarkable men of a period rich in remarkable men’.Black History Month

Black Words Matter (Brixton) October 28th: Black History Month couldn’t be complete in 2016 without reference to the Black Lives Matter movement happening in both the US and the UK. Brixton Library is therefore throwing the microphone open to a poetic response to examining what’s going on. Poets and performers are coming together to speak through spoken word. Black History Month Father Comes Home From The Wars (Part 1, 2 & 3) (London) Through October 22nd: This trilogy of short plays premiered at the Public Theater in New York. They are the first three of nine short plays that will follow one African-American family through generations up to the present day. Parts 1, 2 & 3 are performed together in one evening.Black History Month

Benji Reid: A Thousand Words (Manchester) Through December 17th: In a series of sumptuous and tantalising portraits Benji Reid captures both the vulnerability and strength of his subjects. Built around a spectacular re-staging of Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’,  A Thousand Words is provocative and playful and sure to capture your attention.Black History Month

The Young Nigerians (Camden) October 22nd: Inua Ellams brings together eight of the most vibrant, versatile and exciting Nigerian poets living and working in England as part of the Roundhouse’s celebration of Black History Month.


Liverpool Black Community Trail at the International Slavery Museum (Liverpool) Through October 30th: The Liverpool Black community is the oldest in Europe, dating back to 1750. The Museum of Liverpool has a free trail exploring Liverpool’s Black community.




The Price of Memory (Leicester) October 5th: When Queen Elizabeth II visits Jamaica for her Golden Jubilee Celebrations in 2002, she is petitioned by a small group of Rastafari for slavery reparations. The Price of Memory follows the reparations lawsuit, the legacies of slavery and the Rastafari’s quest to return to the homeland of their African ancestors.


The Knife of Dawn (Camden) October 6th: A chamber opera in one act set in Martin Carter’s prison cell towards the end of a month-long hunger strike in 1953. Martin, a Guyanese poet and political activist, was incarcerated without charge whilst fighting for independence for his country, called British Guiana at the time.


Julian Joseph in Concert (Camden) October 9th: For the London Piano Festival’s closing concert, Julian will create a unique mixture of pieces to include a selection of his own compositions. Julian has performed extensively for over two decades, firmly establishing himself as a towering figure in the contemporary jazz world.


South Africa: The Art of a Nation (Camden) October 27th – February 27th: In this exhibition a diverse range of art from across the ages tells a story that stretches back 100,000 years. From rock art made by the country’s earliest peoples to works by South African artists at the forefront of contemporary art, the exhibition features beautiful and important objects, which illustrate South Africa’s rich history.


A Tale of Two Cities @ Goldsmiths Black History Month (London) October 18th: A celebration of Black British music through the ages from the original dub sounds of Mad Professor, to the prophetic poetry of Zena Edwards and the nostalgic short documentaries of Caleb Femi.

Black History month

“Love Jones” screening + After Party, “Just Got Paid” (London) October 14th: This event will screen the film, “Love Jones”. Two urban African-Americans, Darius (Larenz Tate), an aspiring writer, and Nina (Nia Long), an aspiring photographer, share an instant connection after a chance meeting at a Chicago club. After party(separate event) to begin right after.


‘Obama: Job Well Done?’ A BBC (BBAF) Black History Month special (London) October 21st: In 2008 Barack Obama became the first African American President of the United States of America. Black people believed in Barack Obama. Black people loved Barack Obama. Black people delivered for Barack Obama. But did President Barack Obama deliver enough to demonstrate that he loved them back? This one-off special Black History Month debate will seek to explore this.


Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson