What does Black History Month mean to you?
G15 members are marking October as the annual Black History Month, a chance to celebrate, reflect, and discuss the achievements and experience of Black people in the UK.
Earlier this month, the co-chairs of Notting Hill Genesis' staff diversity network, Cultural Energie, gathered to share what Black History Month means to them.
"For starters, it’s more than a month. Black history speaks to my entire existence. It’s a time to be reminded of what is truly means to be a black Briton; that we stand on the shoulders of giants who, throughout history, have made extraordinary contributions in the fields of science, tech, literature, art, music and so much more. It serves as a reminder that our past and present contributions have often been ignored or played down merely because of the melanin in our skin, but we reclaim that narrative. During the month of October it provides us with the space to address this unfairness, by celebrating the achievements and contributions of people and culture be it black women, men, non-binary, trans and disabled folk and with that, promoting understanding and diversity in respect to these sub-groups."
"Black History Month is important to me as it has helped to articulate the unheard and unknown black experience and stories. It started a narrative that has grown. Growing up, I was never taught about black history in the educational system. It made me question our past, when did our existence start? Why had we been written out of history books? Was it done deliberately or systematically? Why had we been tied into one narrative, that of the slave trade. As black people, we were led to believe that we had no history and we do, so much history, positive images, ancestry to be proud off. Black history month gives a voice to the events of the past and stories. It showcases that black people have always been a part of history, not only for one month but for centuries. October gives a platform to teach, inform and share knowledge that has been concealed."
"For me Black history month is not just about slavery and Martin Luther King and Malcom X. Black History month for me is a time to celebrate our black culture, a time to educate people about our daily life experiences. It’s a time to highlight the positive impact black people have had in the world in a time where we are frequently portrayed in a negative light. Black History Month for me is a time to show appreciation for not only our historic heroes but also our modern-day heroes who are making positive changes as we speak. It’s a time to reflect on our current situation and acknowledge our contribution to the world."
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