Wandsworth Council has faced criticism for renaming a celebration of black history and culture from Black History Month to Diversity Month, in a bid to make the celebration "more reflective" of the diverse population.

Black History Month, which has run throughout October for over 30 years, celebrates the oft-overlooked history of black people.

Among those speaking out against the change, which was made back in 2014, was Wandsworth Councillor Maurice Mcleod, who said he believed the change diluted the celebration that is Black History Month: “In an ideal world, Black History Month wouldn't make sense and would not be needed. Our history teaching would be nuanced, comprehensive and global,” he said.

“Since we live in the real world, Black History Month provides a focus for educators so that they remember to present other narratives. Including all histories is important but lumping them all in together dilutes the celebration of black history down to virtually nothing.

“There are lots of factors that go into the current upswing in youth violence. A lack self-worth and ignorance of cultural history is certainly a factor and ignoring this or diluting it is a mistake."

Academic Addy Adeline added: “I felt quite disappointed when I saw the change. Part of the rationale of Black History Month is to recognise black history. While it can be quite tokenistic, it is a part of history we should be more aware of and part of every month.”

The celebration is being hosted by Wandsworth Libraries, which are run by a contractor, Better.

But Wandsworth Council defended the change as being more inclusive of the wider population, also pointing out that the change had been in effect now since 2014.

A council spokesman said: “We are proud to celebrate the historical achievements and successes of all the diverse communities that make up our borough and who all contribute so much to life in our city.

“We continue to recognise and celebrate black history month with many specific events. Exploring black history remains the main focus, but there are also other events that celebrate all the different faiths, ethnicities and cultures of other communities who also live in our borough.

“This is simply a name change that was made in 2014 which has not affected the wide-ranging celebration of black history but which is better able to reflect the 180 languages spoken in our schools, the fact that many cultures overlap and are shared, and that by celebrating diversity and inclusiveness in this way we are able to bring all our communities closer together.”

For a full list of events visit https://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/london/wandsworth/news/diversity-month-2018#