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Best Countries To Visit For Black History Month
Black History Month Around The World
For one month out of the year, Black history is acknowledged in a very front-facing way nationwide. It’s a celebration of all the exceptional men and women, past and present, that have contributed to the progress of Black people and Black culture. From Sojourner Truth to Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali to Frederick Douglas, we honor those who have committed their lives to change the perception and rights of Black people.
However, we aren’t the only nation to do so. Initially only recognized in the United States, Black History Month is now celebrated in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. Rightfully, we deserve more than just a month, but it does feel validating to know that in different parts of the world, the plight of all our leaders, warriors, visionaries, and martyrs is being recognized. Although it is the shortest month of the year, the global celebration and acknowledgment of those who fought the good fight didn’t struggle in vain.
For all those who want to experience how other countries honor the plight of ancestors, Travel Noire has some insight to offer. Check out where to go and when below.
Yup, you read that right. Ireland. Who knew? Believe it or not, Ireland is one of the best countries to visit for Black History Month. This Western European country is home to only 30,667 Black people (roughly 1.4% of their entire population) who celebrate Black History Month with no apologies. Starting only thirteen years ago, in 2010, in the city of Cork, it wasn’t until 2014 that the people of Ireland decided to celebrate the illustrious history of people of color nationwide.
However, the Irish do things differently. Black history is celebrated during October rather than February, like here in the states. Initiated by a Nigerian-born philanthropist who migrated to Ireland, Zephrynus Okechi Ikeh started researching the African contributions to Irish cultural development and believed some respect should be put on their name. The Irish agreed without resistance, and Black History Month was formed in October, which even further progressed amalgamation and the awareness of Black culture in Ireland.
Before Meghan Markle made history for being the first Black royal, Black History Month was celebrated in the United Kingdom. The first Black History Month in the UK started in 1987. At its inception, the holiday focused on American Black people in history. Black History Month began to celebrate Blacks from the UK as the years passed.
Currently, there is a population of 2.4 million Black people in the UK, which make up only 4.2 percent of the population. Also, similar to Ireland, Black History Month is celebrated in October. Similar to the United States, their events include a celebration of the arts, such as jazz, experiential experiences, and educational conferences and meet-ups in the United Kingdom.
Almost 20 years after the United States declared February as Black History Month, Canada also joined in the celebration. In 1995 Canada’s House of Commons pushed a motion to celebrate Black History Month. The motion was supported unanimously, and Black Canadians are honored for their contributions to the culture of Canada.
However, many fail to realize that Canada had its fair share of slavery as well. Since we rarely speak about the slave history of Canada, the North celebrates those who contributed to the culture of Black Canadians.
Canada has a variety of activities to attend that celebrate Black History Month. On February 25, there’s an event called Black Owned Toronto, where The Art Gallery of Ontario hosts 25 black-owned businesses. The vendors sell various products, such as hair care, skincare, children’s books, candles, and more.
Another event going on in Toronto is the Black Diamond Ball. The Black Diamond Ball has been going on for the last seven years. They are celebrating the accomplishments of Black Canadians who have excelled in their respective industries. It will be a nationally televised event, so you want to look your Sunday best. There will also be a set of workshops leading up to the day of the ball.