Why Black History Month Is Still So Important In Ireland

Here's how you can celebrate

October is Black History Month in the UK and Ireland, and provides a dedicated window to celebrate the history, lives, and culture of the African diaspora.

Ireland is a melting pot of a lot of different cultures and traditions, something we’ve thankfully seen more and more of over the decades. However, despite this, it’s still important to mark Black History Month each year as equality and inclusivity are something we always need to work toward.

For non-people of colour it’s a time to learn history from a different perspective and become better allies for the black community in Ireland. For the black community in Ireland, it’s an opportunity to see your culture celebrated throughout the country.

When did Black History Month begin in Ireland?

Black History Month originated in the United States, where it takes place in February. Ireland’s first Black History Month came in 2010, introduced through an event held in Cork by Nigerian-born Zephrynus Okechi Ikeh.

The first national Black History Month in Ireland took place in 2014 and focused on the issues of civil rights, intercultural education and development.

Ireland is actually only the fourth country in the world after the US, the UK, and The Netherlands to officially honour Black culture and heritage like this.

“Black History Month is a community educational project that requires the entire community’s participation and involvement, including the Irish of European descent, who are more than welcome to attend all of the events.” Zephrynus said.

What is the theme for 2022?

This year’s theme for Black History Month is health and wellness.

This theme aims to look at black historical figures who made advances in black health and to break the barriers to health education.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Black and Irish (@black_andirish)

Why is it still so important?

The celebrations provide an opportunity to put a spotlight on the ongoing issues in our society that affect people of colour. It is about creating visibility and evoking change for the future.

Black History Month encourages people to educate themselves on the history and impact of African diaspora on the communities we live in.

Importantly too, it’s a time to celebrate the achievements of Black changemakers.

In most schools, the curriculum focuses on largely white historical events and figures, and so it’s vital that we know all of history, this helps everyone to built a better future for our children, and their children.

What is happening for Black History Month 2022?

Black History Month 2022 was launched on October 5th with an event ‘Celebrating Black Excellence’ organised by IABS, hosted at IMMA.

Another initiative called Douglas Week has taken place this month to commemorate all of the creative minds that exist in the Black community, and to celebrate their work.

Over on Instagram, Black and Irish are posting daily updates with health advice, and highlighting some significant black changemakers in the health world.

Learn more about Black History Month at https://blackhistorymonth.ie/

Written by Rebekah O’Reilly


Have your say

More like this