10 Trending Black History Month Speakers Requested For 2024
Black History Month is an annual event that aims to celebrate black culture and the achievements and contributions to society of people from African and Caribbean backgrounds. Black History Month in the UK was set out by Akyaaba Addai-Sebo a Special Projects Officer at the Greater London Council, following a visit to the United States in the 1970s. The first celebration in the UK took place in 1987 in London. It has since grown into a national event that is celebrated annually throughout the month of October.
Why Do We Celebrate Black History Month?
Black History Month aims to celebrate the work of people of African and Caribbean descent throughout history, recognising their contributions to the world we live in today. It is hoped by educating wider society that people will become more understanding and help to end racism and discrimination. Schools and Universities across the country put on classes to teach Black History while businesses often hold events used to educate their workforce and help improve inclusivity across their organisations.
With over 92,000 racist incidents recorded by the police in 2020-21 and a 73% increase in race and nationality hate crimes in 2021, it is vitally important that we continue to celebrate Black History Month to eliminate discrimination and racism that continues to be prevalent within society.
When is Black History Month?
Black History Month takes place annually, celebrated from the 1st to the 31st of October.
What is Black History Month’s Theme?
The theme of Black History Month 2023 was ‘Black Resistance‘. This theme recognised how Black people have resisted oppression and discrimination throughout history.
Why Book a Black History Month Speaker?
Booking a Black History Month speaker is the perfect opportunity to educate your workforce. Our fantastic selection of Black History Month speakers have a unique perspective on the world with their own experiences of racism and discrimination but have also shown great courage to overcome the obstacles in their way. Engaging and inspiring everyone in attendance, Black History Month speakers are a must for any organisation looking to improve understanding and inclusivity across the workforce. Here we look at the 10 trending Black History Month Speakers requested for 2024 events:
1. Ade Adepitan
One of the most recognisable faces on British TV Ade Adepitan won a bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Paralympics and was awarded an MBE in 2005. He is a prime example of an inspirational speaker, overcoming polio which saw him lose the use of his legs at just three years old. Ade and his parents were victims of systematic racism after they moved to the UK, however, he continued to thrive against adversity becoming one of one the most famous sports presenters in the country. Recently, Ade was named as One of the Most Influential Black British people in the UK and is a fantastic choice for a speaker this Black History Month.
“Ade was extremely amenable and relaxed – he gave us some fantastic quotes and a brilliant interview” – Tourism South East
2. Luther Blissett
A leading pioneer in English Football, Luther Blissett was one of the first Black footballers to represent England at the senior level and the first Black player to score for England. It was not always easy for Luther though who unfortunately experienced racist abuse throughout his career and showed tremendous courage to continue to step out onto the pitch and perform in the face of that abuse. As a speaker, he discusses his own experiences of racism and inspires audiences to continuously strive for excellence, despite any adversity that they face. He also aims to educate people on how society can move forward and work to end racism and discrimination, making him the perfect choice for a speaker this Black History Month.
“The session went really well- Luther was engaging and motivating. The conversation flowed nicely and I think everyone was inspired by his honesty and attitude… please pass on our thanks again to Luther for joining us, it was truly appreciated. He provided much-needed positivity on how far society has come albeit still a long way to go!” – Emma, NHS
Prominent activist Akala is a fantastic choice for a speaker this Black History Month. He has used his platform as a MOBO award-winning artist, author, and appearance on national television – including BBC’s Question Time – to highlight systematic racism and discusses his own experiences of discrimination. Passionate about educating people and helping to combat racism and discrimination around the world, Akala must be near the top of any shortlist for a speaker this Black History Month.
“As a Citi employee, I’d like to thank Akala for speaking last week. I learned a great deal and am extremely grateful” – James, Citi Bank
4. Kelly Holmes
Kelly Holmes is a truly inspirational speaker. When booked, she shares stories of her journey to becoming a double Olympic champion but also the adversity she faced in life. She explains the impacts injuries had on her as well as her experiences with self-harm and depression. Her open and honest speeches highlight what we can achieve despite adversity, and she will motivate any audience to go and pursue their dreams this Black History Month.
“Kelly was fantastic. We enjoyed having her on stage and the audience was clearly engaged – she covered a wide variety of topics in a relatable way. I have heard nothing but positive feedback from attendees. The crowd were particularly interested in her charitable endeavours. She was both humble and inspiring” – Indeed
5. Trevor McDonald
Trevor McDonald is arguably one of the most recognisable faces on British TV. The National Television Awards and BAFTA winner has been the presenter of News at Ten and Tonight with Trevor McDonald as well as a host of documentaries. As a Black History Month speaker Trevor is the perfect example of someone whose achievements should be celebrated and his passion to motivate others to pursue their goals is enough to inspire everyone in attendance.
“Sir Trevor is the loveliest man in the world, everyone at the event just fell in love with him, he is amazing and such a superb man. Inspiration for all. He spoke beautifully, was so kind and engaging with everyone and played a key role in helping make the event such a big success. he and you guys are wonderful” – Lawrie Cornish Ltd
6. Eniola Uloko
Eniola Uloko is a pioneer of women’s football. Following a highly successful playing career, she has carved out a new walk of life as a pundit, becoming the first female to appear on Match of the Day in 2014. She broke the glass ceiling paving the way for other female football experts to step into punditry and she is paving the way for more diverse voices in football commentary. In 2021 she became the only Black sporting director for a first-division soccer club in the U.S and as a speaker as well as discussing her illustrious career she opens up about her own experiences of discrimination and what she believes it takes for us to have a more inclusive and understanding society. Eniola Uloka is a fantastic choice for your Black History Month event
“Mesmerising” – KPMG
7. Shaun Wallace
Most known for being the Dark Destroyer on ITV’s The Chase, Shaun Wallace is a famed TV personality. Away from being a quiz genius, Shaun is passionate about fighting against Racism and educating others on diversity and inclusion. He openly wrote about his experiences in his book ‘Racism My Story’ and the documentary that shared the title, he was also a Black History Month reporter on Good Morning Britain. His passionate speeches are perfect for any organisation looking to break down barriers and promote inclusivity this Black History Month.
“We thoroughly enjoyed having Shaun at Chateau Impney. He is great fun, incredibly approachable and was fantastic with our guests. We have received nothing but compliments about him and I would have no hesitation in having him back” – Chateau Impney
8. Patrick Vernon
A leading social commentator Patrick Vernon has been involved in the battle for equality and social justice his whole career. He is the founder of the Windrush Justice Fund as well as having worked in government as the Race Equalities Advisor to the Shadow Equalities Ministerial Team and Chair of the Westminster Race Equality Partnership. He is also the Editor of the Black History Month and Windrush Commemorative magazines and founder of 100 Great Black Britons, and has vast experience discussing diversity and inclusion making him a fantastic choice for your Black History Month Event.
“The session went great! Please express my thanks to Patrick and thank you all for your help in setting this up!” – Carissa, JP Morgan
9. Shola Kaye
Shola Kaye is a leading speaker on communication, empathy and diversity and inclusion. She also wrote the Amazon bestseller Big Talk, Small Talk. The winner of the Jenny Seagrove Speaking Award, Shola’s sessions are engaging informative and passionate. When booked for Black History Month she discusses her personal experiences of feeling unnoticed and talks about how organisations can make everyone feel noticed and included as well as how they can embed diversity and inclusion in everything they do.
“I had the pleasure of listening to Shola speak about presenting with confidence. Her personal journey to find her own confidence captures the audience. An inspiring and thought-provoking presentation” – Parveen, Senior Legal Counsel – Data Privacy, Digital and Risk Management
10. Uju Asika
The author of Bringing Up Race: How To Raise A Kind Child In A Prejudice World, Uju Asika is a driving force in the battle for equality. Her talks focus on diversity and inclusion, race, and anti-racist parenting. Drawing on her own experiences of racism, Uju hosts an open and honest discussion that will encourage everyone in attendance to become more understanding and inclusive this Black History Month.
“We thought the talk that Uju did for our Deloitte Digital colleagues on the 7th March was brilliant. Our colleagues that were able to join the call, all thought she did a really excellent job that proved to be inspirational to many of our discussions at other events that week. Lots of people have commented on how eloquently she spoke about her own experiences, highlighting challenges whilst also providing really actionable advice. Personally, I also thought she was really fantastic- she had a friendly warmth about the way she spoke that really helped open up our internal panel discussions afterwards enabling some really frank and honest conversations.” – Cassie, Deloitte
Book a Black History Month Speaker
Start getting your Black History Month events ready now by booking a speaker today. You can book one from this list or look at the rest of our inspirational Black History Month Speakers. With every speaker having a unique and equally moving story to tell, any one of our speakers would be a fantastic choice for Black History Month events in 2024.