July is a big month. There’s Zulai Wan (July One) or Coming of the Light for many Torres Strait Islander families and communities, then NAIDOC Week is a week later. The whole of the country gathers in their communities to celebrate achievements and recognise survival. But the celebration and activity doesn’t need to end there. There are still 18 days to go because it’s also Blak History Month.
Blak History Month is a month long celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories. It was started in 2008, by a Ms Sam Cook, who wrote a proclamation,
On this 26th Day of January 2008, in commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the proclamation of Survival Day, it is hereby announced that the month of July 1 – 31st is now proclaimed Blak History Month in Australia
From this day forth and for all years to come, JULY will remain a month of significance and symbolism for the unity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nations, in celebration of Australia’s rich, vibrant Indigenous histories and cultures.
July will provide an opportunity for ALL AUSTRALIANS to recognise the true Australian identity, giving schools, government, multicultural Australia and most significantly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities the opportunity to respectfully promote greater awareness of the diversity, innovation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander splendour.
Australia’s Blak History Month, will join the worldwide celebration of Black History Month, giving greater international profile to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations, alongside Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
The Australian community is hereby advised to BLAK out JULY in their diaries annually as a month of pride and celebration of all tribal groups and people throughout Australia and the Torres Strait.
1- 31st Jly – Australia’s Blak History Month!
We have survived.
One of the first activities that was started in 2008 was the Great Moments in Blakistory, which sees a new fact sheet released every day for the month of July. These are freely available and cover a range of places, and topics (politics, sport, art, music, culture etc).
But who organises Blak History Month? The short and long answer is NO ONE. There is no organising body or committee. You, in your school or community group, can begin to recognise and celebrate Blak History Month without having to ask for permission.
What kind of activities might work? You can do the whatever you feel comfortable with, guest speakers, movie events, write ups in your school newsletter, create your own fact sheets, morning teas, get togethers. Your activities can be as big or small as your like.
When can I start celebrating Blak History Month? Right now or start planning for next year.
Blak History Month belongs to everyone.
- Blak History Month website
- Blak History Month Facebook Page (Can download most recent fact sheets from here)
- Blak History Month Twitter Account
- Buy a Blak History Month Poster and Clothing from Redbubble
- Teacher Resources