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2 minutes to read Posted on Thursday October 5, 2023

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Beth Daley

Beth Daley

Editorial Adviser , Europeana Foundation

Black History Month 2023 - get involved

Black History Month is marked every October to highlight, discuss and reflect on the past and present lives and achievements of Black people as well as the challenges faced by Black communities. Find out how Europeana is contributing in 2023, and how you can join in.

Woman hugging a child with baseball cap at angle
Title:
Untitled [woman hugging boy with baseball cap at angle] from the series On a Good Day
Creator:
Al Vandenberg
Date:
1979
Institution:
Victoria and Albert Museum
Country:
United Kingdom

This is the third year that the Europeana Initiative has participated in Black History month. We’ve built up a portfolio of cultural heritage stories, including an exhibition and news pieces by and about Black individuals and communities, and this year we will be sharing these, as well as highlighting new stories. And along with all the usual ways you can get involved both now and throughout the year (see below), we have new opportunities this year!

Teach ‘Unsung Voices-Black Women Activists’

If you are an educator, we encourage you to explore this learning scenario from the Teaching with Europeana blog. It is aimed at teachers who would like to introduce students to lesser-known black women who fought for women’s and particularly Black women’s rights and representation. Students practise their speaking, reading and writing skills through a range of interesting activities but also hone their research, critical thinking and presentation skills.

Explore Unsung Voices

For another teaching resource on Black history, take a look at Digi School from Black Liberators. This four-week lesson plan looks at the contribution of African-American soldiers to the liberation of the Netherlands in the Second World War.

Explore Black Liberators’ Digi School

Spread the word about GIF IT UP

October is the time to see artworks come to life in this year’s edition of the GIF IT UP competition! In 2023, the Goethe-Institut joins us to sponsor a special category - diversity and inclusion. GIFs related to this theme might use artworks that highlight underrepresented individuals or communities, or might use more well-known pieces to shine a light on those traditionally missing from the story.

Gosia Cabaj, Head of Information Services Northwestern Europe, says, ‘At the Goethe-Institut we believe that diversity is a source of innovation and creativity. That’s why we facilitate culture exchange and promote multilingualism. We are very much looking forward to seeing the creative outcomes of the GIF IT UP competition!’

Please help us encourage entries to this special prize category by spreading the word about the GIF IT UP competition and its GIF making workshops. You can even enter the competition yourself!

Find out more about GIF IT UP

More ways to get involved

We want to support cultural heritage institutions to get involved in highlighting Black History, whether that’s this October, or any other time throughout the year. We can help to share your work and content in a number of ways. We're particularly interested in hearing about stories or projects from southern, eastern and central Europe.

Here are seven more ways you can get involved:

  1. Write an editorial piece which highlights Black history for the Europeana website or recommend historical Black European figures we could feature. You are welcome to share images and objects from your own collections. We offer editorial grants for stories that put a spotlight on underrepresented communities, voices and lived experiences. If you have a story to share and would like to apply for a grant to help you develop it, please use our form to apply.

  2. Share your own work through Europeana Pro. Is your organisation mainly focused on Black history or running projects and exhibitions to highlight it? Let us interview you and raise awareness about the importance and challenges of making Black history accessible.

  3. Tell us about your plans for Black History Month so that we can explore ways to support and align them with our activities.

  4. 'Take over' our Instagram account by sharing stories from your institution.

You can do all of the above by getting in touch with [email protected]. In addition, you could:

  1. Promote relevant content, blogs, images and objects from your own collections on social media. Use #BlackHistory and tag us @Europeanaeu when you do.

  2. Highlight a well-known or lesser-known historical Black figure on social media. Again, use #BlackHistory and tag us @Europeanaeu when you do.

  3. Follow, retweet and share our editorials and news posts throughout the month - we will be sharing them on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

For any other questions or ideas, please get in touch with [email protected].

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