October is Black History Month (BHM), and the City Council will be marking the month through its social media and promoting the Oxford Anti-Racism Charter.
The theme for this year’s BHM is Time for change: actions not words. The council will be working with local businesses and organisations to encourage more to sign up to Oxford’s Anti-Racism Charter. This was launched in 2020, led by the council on behalf of the city, as part of action to make Oxford an anti-racist city. So far 14 organisations have signed up, each making a commitment on how they will tackle racism.
The City Council has led the Cultural Education Partnership World Reimagined project for Oxfordshire. This included commissioning five artists, one in each district of the county, to work with schools to design and create five globes inspiring pride in what it means to be Black and British, promoting better understanding of Black history in Britain.
The Museum of Oxford's permanent galleries have objects relating to Black history and heritage in the city. An online exhibition celebrating the legacy of Windrush generations in Oxford is available at https://moxdigiexhibits.omeka.net/exhibits/show/windrushyears. The Museum has programming relating to our city’s Black history throughout the year, for updates about events you can visit the museum’s website at https://museumofoxford.org/whats-on and sign up to the museum’s newsletter here.
The council’s Youth Ambition team will be working with youth clubs to organise learning events, and schools in the city have also organised projects to give young people the opportunity to discuss Black history.
“Black history is British history and it’s why this year’s theme of action not words is so important. We’re aiming to get more organisations signed up to the anti-racism charter this month, committing to a collective city wide action plan to tackle racism. For this to be meaningful, we need to find ways to bring organisations, people and communities across our multiracial city together to tackle racism beyond this important month.
“I hope everyone will take time out this to month to learn more about Black history as wider British history. Black History Month is about shining a spotlight on this often erased, neglected or dismissed history, it’s a vital and positive month, enabling all of us to learn from respecting Black British experiences. I’m delighted Oxford City Council is part of this.”
Councillor Shaista Aziz, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Communities and Culture
*this story was edited on 14 October 2022 to update the information on the Museum of Oxford's exhibitions and artefacts