Black History Month

Black History Month 2019 logo

Black History Month is held every October to promote knowledge and understanding of Black history, culture and heritage, and raise awareness of the contribution of Black people to society. It is an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions made by Black people to the cultural and economic development of the UK. It’s also a time to come together, to celebrate and learn and, with the advent of Black Lives Matters campaign, to act against discrimination where we find it.

For further details of the campaign and events calendar see their website The Black History Month campaign has launched an online timeline featuring key dates in worldwide Black History at

Surrey History Centres incorporates the histories of diverse communities into its work all year round but Black History Month is an opportunity for us to focus awareness and celebrate the lives of Black people in the county, and reveal some little known stories from our amazing library and archive collections. These collections are a powerful tool in the fight against discrimination and inequality. Through education comes understanding and tolerance and we present these hidden life stories, some of them uncomfortable to read, using historical material from the collections, with context.

Continuing to develop our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) collections is key to increasing relevance as well as the representation of people in the county. Surrey History Centre has been celebrating Black History Month for 20 years and we are proud of the resource we have built up on this website which reveals stories of Surrey’s Black people through the centuries. We will continue to research and reveal these hidden lives, and we will collect, preserve and make accessible the records of all Surrey’s people. If you have stories or material relating to the lives of BAME people in Surrey, Surrey History Centre would love to hear from you; email [email protected] or call 01483 518737.

Find out more about Black History in Surrey.

Read Surrey History Centre’s ‘Marvels of the Month’ features for the current and previous Black History Months (scroll down the list for all the October issues) at

Portrait photograph of John Springfield, c. 1880s (SHC ref 1714/1)

Portrait photograph of John Springfield, c. 1880s (SHC ref 1714/1)

If you are researching the lives of Black people in Surrey, or tracing family history, Surrey History Centre can help identify key sources and books, including some which are held at the Centre.

Surrey History Centre has produced:

• A Black History Month bibliography (downloadable as a pdf document Downloadable pdf Black History Month bibliography)

• Discover more about tracing Black family history


Tracing Black History at Surrey History Centre (downloadable as a pdf document Downloadable pdf document Tracing Black History at Surrey History Centre) and read our Marvel of the Month guide to Black History sources.

The Exploring Surrey’s Past website also contains further information on Surrey’s diverse communities, use the search box at the top of the page to explore the site.

See Surrey Heritage’s Black History Month newsflashes on this website to find out what as been featured each year: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015.

Black History Month logo

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