Black History Month

Our commitment

Bury is a tapestry of diverse communities and we celebrate the heritage of the communities in our borough. Our Let's Do It strategy embodies this by focusing on highlighting and building on our respective strengths and striving for an inclusive society where we live and thrive together, and everyone's achievements are recognised and celebrated.

Standing against racism and being inclusive are important to Bury Council and NHS GM (Bury). Over the last year we have held numerous conversations about race within the community and are committed to continuing that conversation and implementing changes for the better. Some examples; we're working towards more being more inclusive in our recruitment, ensuring that we meet our residents in places and spaces they feel comfortable in, creating a stronger and more effective translation service and much more. See: Race Conversations Next Steps.

"We need to be united in tackling racism and inequality... the diversity of our borough is a key strength".
Eamonn O'Brien, Leader.

"As an employer and service provider, Bury Council and NHS Bury CCG remain determined to oppose racist attitudes in everything we do".
Geoff Little, Chief Executive.

What is Black History Month?

Black History Month proudly celebrates the contribution Black people have made to our vibrant and diverse society. Started just under a century ago by Carter Woodson, Black History Month takes place every October, it's important that the messages and meaning of the month extend across the whole year.

Black History Month aims to engage, to inform and educate, and to showcase the talent, inspirations and stories of local Black people. It's about celebrating the diversity of Black culture which comes from a variety of places such as: Africa, Caribbean, America.

In 2022 the theme for Black History Month is, "Time for Change: Action Not Words". According to the Black History Month - 2022 webpage; "To get to a better tomorrow, we can't just focus on the past. The past is in the past. We can acknowledge and learn from it, but to improve the future, we need action, not words. We need to come together around a shared common goal to achieve a better world for everyone.

This year's Black History Month is not just a month to celebrate the continued achievements and contributions of Black people to the UK and around the world. It's also a time for continued action to tackle racism and ensure Black history is represented and celebrated all year round."

Throughout history influential Black people, from Martin Luther King and Harold Moody to Marcus Rashford, have helped push Black issues to the top of the agenda.

Mary Seacole - first Black British nurse. After the Crimean War (1853-1856) Mary Seacole's outstanding contribution was forgotten until recently. As the Black daughter of a Scottish solider married to a Jamaican medical practitioner, Mary had overcome the challenge for racism to set up her own hospital for the soldiers. Having gone to war at her own expense and set up her 'hotel', Mother Seacole's, she looked after the wounded and dying soldiers. Find out more at: Mary Seacole Trust - Read Mary's story.

Lilian Bader - first Black woman to join the British Armed Forces. Lilian overcame numerous setbacks before being accepted into the Women's Auxiliary Air Force in 1941 and worked her way to come Corporal and leading Aircraftwoman. On leaving the forces she raised two children, retrained and become a teacher. Find out more at: Black History Month - Black History Month firsts: Lilian Bader.

Frank Bailey - the first Black firefighter. Frank came to England from Guyana in 1953. As a political activist he reacted to news that the Fire Brigade's Union had said Black people 'were not employed by the fire service' by applying for a post. He was successful in joining the West Ham Brigade in 1955. He is now celebrated as having paved the way for Black firefighters across the country. Find out more at: Black History Month - Frank Bailey: Remembering London’s first black firefighter.

More Black History month first and Black History Month heroes can be seen at: Black History Month - Black History Month heroes.

Want to read more about Black history?

Click on the links below.