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October is Black History Month

Published: 01 October 2019

Black history month, Lucean Headen

Celebrating black heritage in Surrey

October has arrived which means it's the start of Black History Month. Black History Month is all about recognising and recounting the experiences of black people throughout history and a time to celebrate and share the many achievements and positive contributions made by black people in society.

People from all over the world have come and settled in Surrey including communities of black people from as far as Jamaica, Nigeria, Ghana and much more. For centuries many black people and communities have made Surrey their home, bringing with them diversity, culture and vibrancy. Surrey History Centre is a great place to go to find out more about black history in Surrey and also discover interesting stories of individuals who lived in the county around the 1800s.

One notable Surrey resident was Lucean Arthur Headen. He was a black American inventor and entrepreneur who came to the county in the 1930s. Headen became a leading industrialist and decided to manufacture his inventions in Camberley which were sent to countries all over the world. Headen became an active part of Camberley's community and also was one of the very few Americans who served in the Camberley regiment of the Surrey Home Guard's 1st Battalion.

How is the council celebrating?

On 17 October, Surrey County Council will be holding an event for all staff at County Hall to promote the unique heritage of Surrey County Council's black staff and raise awareness of the importance of having a diverse workforce. Events include a gospel choir performance, a panel discussion, a black literature book club and a pop up Caribbean food stall.

Where can I celebrate in Surrey?

There will be a couple of events taking place in Surrey including hilarious stand up performances by prominent black comedians Desiree Burch and Darren Harriott. For more details check out our What's On Guide.

Image courtesy of Lucean Arthur Headen Jr.

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