26 / 9 / 2013 10.38am
October might be the month, which to many heralds the onset of winter. But, it's also the month when people all over the world celebrate black history – recognising the contributions of African, Asian and Caribbean people to economic, cultural and political life throughout the years.
Where it all started
Black History Month dates back to 1926 when Carter G Woodson pioneered a week to celebrate the history of African Americans. It was adopted in the UK in 1987, and it was extended to the full month of October.
October is also a period of tolerance and reconciliation in African culture. Black history is an opportunity to reconnect with the African source, hence the black history month symbol of Sankofa – learning from the past – with the benefit of hindsight.
Black history month and the NHS
The NHS Employers organisation marked the 65th birthday of the NHS with its BME trailblazer series. For this year's Black History Month we are showcasing the vast contributions, which the black community have made to the NHS, BME communities and beyond. This is a time to demonstrate its pride in creativity, respect for its intellectual prowess and a celebration of its cultural identity, which is often misrepresented when it's not being ignored.
We hope you find the month ahead interesting and that our profiles inspire you to learn more about the contributions of this section of our community.
Help us find the NHS's black and minority ethnic pioneers
The British Medical Association (BMA), NHS Employers and the NHS Leadership Academy are proud to be join sponsors of the Health Service Journals (HSJ) search for the NHS's black and minority ethnic pioneers.
The official search has been launched and you are invited to get involved and have your say. Find out more and nominate your pioneer.
PFD campaign - become a champion
Find out more about Equality and Diversity in the NHS and join our campaign to be a Personal, Fair and Diverse champion.