This month is Black History Month, and it signifies a time of celebrations.
It is the time of year when we shine additional light on Black achievements and on the Black talent that we have in our country. We use October to draw particulate focus to this, but it is something we should be immensely grateful for all year round.
Celebrating our heroes past and present signifies how far we have come, provides role models for others and shows the efforts older generations went to to drive inclusivity and improve our experiences of today. It also highlights the difficulties and prejudices they faced, and why their talents and achievements may have gone unrecognised until now.
When we think of those like Ignatius Sancho, Mary Seacole or Justin Fashanu we think of the immense contributions they made to society, but we also think of the prejudices they faced and the decades long struggle to ensure they are recognised properly. When we see Marcus Rashford, Bernardine Evaristo or Steve McQueen, we are shown the promise of a new generation succeeding and being recognised at the highest levels.
In any diverse society, for me, this journey is about representing and supporting people from all backgrounds when they need it most.
There are always difficult moments that need to be borne and reconciled with. But when division threatens unity and progress, it is vital that we work with each other to bring people back together.
The Proud to Be campaign is inspired by Black Lives Matter and invites Black people of all ages throughout the U.K. to share what they are Proud to Be. The campaign is setting out to make Black History Month 2021 personal and unique to individuals, families, and communities, focusing on how we’re all making history all the time in our own ways.
For this Black History Month, I’d invite and encourage you to find out more. For our allies, I’d invite you to consider one Black figure from past or present, and the contributions they have made and how you value them.
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