top of page

Black History Month, Proud To Be: Kids Edition

So Mamas it's that time of year again BLACK HISTORY MONTH UK, we want to show our kids the best of us and therefore themselves but how do we go about it? Well whether this is the first time or an annual tradition there are a whole host of places that can offer you and your children Black History and during October these are increasingly easier to find.

First Things First

Find out whether your child's school is celebrating Black History Month and what they have planned. Don't be afraid to point out that increased knowledge of the contributions that Black people make to society, benefits the whole school community.

What can I do with my kids?

Libraries and Bookshops are great ways to introduce your children to Black History that can be fun, engaging and age appropriate. You and your child(ren) can peruse book titles and/or subjects together and make a joint decision on what you want to learn about. The UK has more black bookshops than you maybe realise, Google and Social Media are great avenues to help you find them.

Films both non-fiction and fiction are great visual aids for learning about black history. Yes it can raise a lot of questions (not just from them) but it also enables you to learn, support and grow in your knowledge alongside your child. Ensure that you debrief them on anything that they have watched which may change their perception on things or plague their minds. Slavery is a harsh reality of our heritage but it's not the only thing about us and movies are a great way to display this.

Black History Month Activities are going on up and down the country. Have a look at our Black History Month: Proud To Be, What's happening blog to see some of those activities. If something you've heard of or are organising is not listed, please post them here and share with your sistas.

Museums and Theatres will also be getting in on the Black History Month action, so research places that will be showcasing Black history from a tangible and visual perspective even if it's virtual. Please ensure that the places you chose to take (log in) your kids are reputable, there is a lot of propaganda out there and we do not want to have to spend time undoing stereotypes or tempering our own anger at inaccuracies or blatant lies.

Black British Pioneering Females through history:

The 2021 theme of BHM is Proud To Be and what better way to celebrate that pride than to showcase a list of Black British Female Pioneers.

Althea Jones Lecointe - Activist and first Black Female to represent herself in court

(Picture Credit: The Guardian)

As part of the Mangrove 9, Althea represented herself in what became a landmark case against the Police and their often brutal treatment of Black People in the UK. Althea called witnesses, cross-examined police and forced the judicial state to publicly admit the racist attitudes of the British Metropolitan Police.

Claudia Vera Jones (Cumberbatch)- Activist, Journalist and Founder of the Notting Hill Carnival

(Picture Credit:

Following the racially motivated murder of Kelso Cochrane, activist and journalist Claudia Jones decided that the Black community needed a joyous occasion which recognised and celebrated the beauty and diversity within the black community.

Ivory Bangle Lady - Proof that Black People lived here and were wealthy BEFORE slavery

This is the story of a skeleton found in York in 1901 which was proved to have been from the Roman times. The materials with which this North African woman was found evidenced the fact that affluent black people lived in the UK long before slavery or the "Commonwealth".

Olive Morris - Activist

Picture Credit: Evening Standard

Despite her demise at the young age of 27, this black female has gone down in history as a radical who has influenced the way in which we live today. A fighter for the rights of equality this pioneer has even featured on the front of the "Squatters Handbook" supporting and guiding others to their freedoms.

Mary Seacole - Nurse in Crimean War

(Picture Credit:

Determination and self-belief are great ways to describe the first black nurse to open a hospital on the front line of the Crimean War. Not to be deterred by knock backs and rejections this woman saved many a soldier, subsequently saving many future generations.

Lilian Bader - First Black Female in WWII Armed Forces

(Picture Credit:

Fired from many jobs because of her heritage (Bajan father) Lilian refused to be held down by her lack of job security. Research led her to the WAAF and she became the first black woman to join the armed forces for World War 2. Up until her death in 2015 at the age of 97 Lilian continued to campaign for the recognition of Black and Asian contributions to the wars fought by the UK.

Margaret Busby - First Black Female Book publisher

(Picture Credit:

Margaret teamed up with Clive Allison and co-founded Allison & Busby publishing house. She has been described as someone who "revolutionised literature" and is the woman behind Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Words and Writings by Women of African Descent (1992) in addition to the 2019 New Daughters of Africa.

Diane Abbott - First Black Female MP

(Picture Credit:

Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington since 1987 and famous for her outspoken and unapologetic approach to politics. This pioneer of Jamaican descent is the first black woman to be voted in as a member of parliament.

Sislin Fay Allen - First Black Female Police Woman

(Picture Credit:

I'm not sure if Sislin is well known or little known but she is - to use her own words - "a history maker". Joining the Police force in 1968 as a black woman caused so much stir that she is quoted as saying "I nearly broke a leg running away from reporters."

Maggie Aderin-Pocock - Scientist

(Picture Credit:

Described as a scientist, Maggie is so much more than just that title. As a black British female who writes books and famously took over from Patrick Moore on The Night Sky, she is an inspirational leader of her field.

Elizabeth Anionwu - Pioneer of Sickle Cell tracing for babies

Picture Credit:

Sickle cell is synonymous with Black people. In a time when little was understood about this debilitating illness, Dame Elizabeth created a whole wing for the patients, raised awareness amongst her peers and was heavily involved with the sickle cell tracing for babies.

Kayisha Payne - creator of BBSTEM

Picture Credit: Connect Mentors

Whilst Kayisha is more future than past I think it pertinent to mention her. This young lady wanted to pave the way for the other Black British Science Technology, Engineering & Mathematics students that would come behind her and created a Black community for this purpose.

Our list is not exhaustive by any means and we are not down playing the accomplishments of athletes such as Denise Lewis, Kelly Holmes or our heart song Tessa Sanderson but we also wanted to represent some of the unsung, under represented and downright unknown heroines of Black British History. They can inspire us to inspire our kids in areas where may be we ourselves were discouraged from going because there was no-one that looked like us. These women show our children and us that you can be the change you want to see.

Happy Black History Month Mamas, we are Proud To Be Onyx YaYas

11 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page