In 2014, Ireland became only the fourth country in the world to officially honor black culture and heritage through a Black History Month.
Throughout October, Ireland is celebrating Black History Month, the fourth country in the world to officially honor black culture and heritage in this way, following in the footsteps of the US, the UK, and Canada.
According to their website, “Black History Month Ireland is a social not-for-profit initiative, with a vision of creating a unity of purpose and advancement in Ireland where different communities can share together to experience with each other’s history, arts, cultures, and heritages to be able to co-exist together meaningfully and productively.
“With about 12% of Irish residence known to be Blacks and Africans, we feel it is important to develop an understanding of one another’s culture for innovation and knowledge sharing, and a better community development and diversification, hence what other better ways than through the development of cultural heritages can we positively build a social capital.”
According to Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute: “Black History Month Ireland was initiated in Cork in 2010. This location seems particularly appropriate as, in the nineteenth century, the city was a leading center of abolition, and the male and female anti-slavery societies welcomed a number of black abolitionists to lecture there, including Charles Lenox Remond and Frederick Douglass.
“Following on in this tradition, University College Cork recently joined the international Universities Studying Slavery consortium. Amongst its concerns, this project addresses historic and contemporary issues regarding race/racism.”
Until January 29, 2019, Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University is hosting a special year-long exhibit in the Lender Special Collection Room at the Arnold Bernhard Library on the Mount Carmel Campus dedicated to American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman Frederick Douglass.
“Frederick Douglass in Ireland: ‘The Black O’Connell’” traces the time that the former slave spent in Ireland, exploring how he came to playfully refer to himself as “The Black O’Connell,” comparing himself to the great Irish Catholic Emancipator Daniel O’Connell, after which Dublin’s O’Connell St. is named.
You can watch IrishCentral tour the exhibit here:
Live tour of "Fredrick Douglass in Ireland: 'The Black O'Connell'" at with Professor Christine Kinealy, founding director of Ireland's Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University.Posted by IrishCentral.com on Dé Luain 9 Iúil 2018
Especially in honor of Black History Month, Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute, in partnership with the Arnold Bernhard Library and the History Department, will also host “Frederick Douglass and Inclusive Diversity in the Arnold Bernhard Library, on Monday, October 29, 2018, from 4.00 to 5:30 pm.
For anybody not able to attend events but who wishes to know more about Douglass – whose 200th birthday is marked this year – why not reread his Narrative, which was first published in 1845 and has been reissued in his bicentennial year by Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives.
Or, if you want to know more about Frederick’s special relationship with Ireland, read Christine Kinealy’s new publication, ‘Frederick Douglass and Ireland. In his own words’ (Routledge, 2018). Read them and fall in love with this great champion of international human rights all over again.
How are you commemorating Black History Month in Ireland? Let us know in the comments section, below.