Black History Month (BMH) was founded over 30 years ago to recognise the contributions that people of African and Caribbean backgrounds have made to the UK over many generations. Now it has expanded to include the history of black people in general. For many years our library service has celebrated Black History Month with displays of posters and an increasing collection of books either written by BAME authors or about diversity topics.
This year our BHM offer was embedded in the Trust’s celebrations over the month, and in the campaign which they ran to Show Racism the Red Card (SRCC) on 22 October. We were invited to join the steering group for SRRC which enabled a fit between our offer and publicity through the Trust’s Communications department.
For BHM we had displays in all four of our libraries. Those all included a selection of books from our BAME collections: https://nehealthlibraries.on.worldcat.org/list/17115786
And books about racism and its effects: https://nehealthlibraries.on.worldcat.org:443/list/18066442
Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) is the UK’s largest anti-racism educational charity. It was established in January 1996, partly by a donation from then Newcastle United goalkeeper Shaka Hislop. October 22 this year was ‘Wear Red Day’; their main fundraising day to unite the country and raise funds for anti-racism education, by inviting schools, businesses and individuals to donate and wear red for the day. The Trust organised a webinar with Shaka Hislop and famous author and nurse, Dame Elizabeth Anionwu.
The library service played an important part in supporting this event, with banners and displays in all the libraries. We also offered red-wrapped books by BAME authors for a lucky dip loan. We all wore our SRRC t-shirts and posted photos on the staff Facebook page.
Our high profile is this year’s event demonstrates close working between our service, the Trust’s EDI Lead and the Communications Department in support of the Trust’s agenda to become a welcoming and supportive environment to all staff, students and patients.
Deputy Library Services Manager
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust