The 1st of October marks the start of Black History Month, a cultural celebration and remembrance for notable people and events in the history of the African diaspora.
A number of exhibitions, talks and gigs will take place across the country throughout October to highlight the lengthy and important contribution that the Black community have made to British life over the centuries.
From the dark days of slavery, through to mass immigration after the Second World War, to Black stars of the political, entertainment and sporting world in the present day, Black History Month will have something for you regardless of your background.
HuffPost presents a brief overview to whet your appetite...
Carter G Woodson
Black History Month's beginnings date from 1926 when American historian John G. Woodson declared the second week in February to be 'Negro History Week' in the USA. Ironically, Woodson's original aim was for the annual event to eventually become obsolete as Black history became a standard and accepted part of American mainstream history. Instead the event grew and is now celebrated over a whole month in the USA and Canada (in February) and the United Kingdom (In October).
Black History Month is not without it's critics. Morgan Freeman said: "I don't want a black history month. Black history is American history."
Sara Forbes Bonetta
Of all the historical figures that Black History Month aims to highlight none has a story quite like that of Sara Forbes Bonetta. Orphaned at the age of eight in Dahomey, West Africa, in 1851, Bonetta found herself being held by slave-raiders who intended to sacrifice her. She was rescued by a Royal Navy Captain who persuaded King Ghezo to give her to Queen Victoria as a gift. Bonetta came England where she impressed the Queen enough to be given a royal sanction to settle and marry. She died at the age 37 of tuberculosis.
The Empire Windrush
A crucial aim of Black History Month is to highlight the historical importance of Black culture in the UK. This picture shows men disembarking from the Empire Windrush, a boat which left from Jamaica and arrived in Britain in 1948. On board were many men who had served with the RAF during the war and were looking to rejoin. Others were answering a British Government call for labourers to help rebuild a country still trying to overcome the destruction of the Second World War. The Empire Windrush marked the beginning of Black mass immigration to Britain.
Black History Month celebrates the achievements of individuals in all walks of British life. In politics, Diane Abbot became the first black woman to be elected to the House of Commons as MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington.
In the sporting field, the British Black community have a plethora of individuals to champion. One of the most famous and high-achieving of the past few decades has to be sprinter Linford Christie.The only British man to have won gold at all four major international athletics events, Christie's career pinnacle was storming home to win gold at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain (shown).
Not only was Williams (seen here sharing a drink with then Prime Minister Harold Wilson) one of the first black players in British football, he was the first Black comedian to enjoy mainstream success in Britain. He became an MBE in 1999 for his charity work and died in 2006 aged 78.
Black History Month does not shy away from confronting the incredibly dark roots of the African diaspora. It examines such regional aspects of slavery as Liverpool's major role as a shipping hub, the funding of Scottish industries and schools through slavery profits and the prominent role of Welsh Abolitionists. See http://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/#/black-history-slavery
Black Leadership and Democracy
A number of events will be held throughout Black History Month. Hackney Central Library will hold a review of inspiring Black leaders from around the world. Whilst obvious contenders such as Martin Luther King will no doubt be noted, lesser-known figures that have been lost to history will be highlighted. This event will be held at Hackney Central Library on Tuesday 9th October.
Beyond A Boundary Exhibition
Dalston C.L.R. James Library will hold a special exhibition examining Black sportspeoples role in that ever so British pastime, cricket. This will be held at Dalston C.L.R. James Library all month long.
Baraka, pictured here in 1964, is a leading and influential figure in the spoken-word world and will be doing readings from his vast collection of works at Contact, Oxford Road, Manchester on Wednesday, 10th October.