Black History: Is a month long enough to celebrate it?

An event entitled 'Arise and Honour Our Enslaved Ancestors' was held in Birmingham to commemorate those affected by the slave trade. Credit: ITV News Central

Black History Month has been celebrated in the UK for almost 30 years. Every October, community events are held across the country, while newspapers, broadcasters and museums all find ways to mark the event.

It's a time for stories that perhaps are not as well known to be told and a chance for people to learn more about centuries of African and Caribbean heritage. However, there's a growing debate as to whether it's necessary or simply tokenism. Genelle Aldred has been investigating.

Black History Month within the African and Caribbean communities was introduced to ensure the stories, history and heritage of African and Caribbean communities was kept alive. But for some, it can feel like tokenism. Why only one month of the year?

Genelle Aldred speaking to Dr Paul Warmington from University of Birmingham. Credit: ITV News Central

Dr Paul Warmington from University of Birmingham reads Education and Social Justice. He believes that black and British history need to be intertwined, so that black history becomes part of public consciousness.

Many parts of the African and Caribbean community believe that what happened during the transatlantic slave trade has not been properly acknowledged.

In Birmingham earlier this month, an event entitled 'Arise and Honour Our Enslaved Ancestors' was held, to commemorate those affected during what was a deeply troubling time.

The event was led by Reverend Eve Pitts, wants to ensure that it's not just slavery we all focus on, but the African empires that came before that.

Former soldier Garry Stewart is also keen that the black servicemen who fought in the Second World War should be properly acknowledged and memorialised to take their place in the history books.

In September 2014, black history became a part of the national curriculum. The Department for Education says every child leaving school should know about different cultures and how different groups have contributed to the development of Britain.

One of the original aims of Black History Month was to ensure that this history was integrated into the national curriculum. Now that it has, there is a real debate around it - do we still need it?

You can watch Genelle's full report on Black History Month for ITV News Central below: