Black History Month: Why?

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Black History Month is a month dedicated to sharing, retelling and celebrating Black history. In the UK, this occurs in the month of October. Over the coming month, many of the stories you’ll see will be reflective of Black achievement in the fields of literature, sport and entertainment. These will likely be at the forefront of the month long celebration. However, history demands that when we look back and reflect, an all encompassing perspective on all aspects of our history must be taken. This does not only include the chapters which some would prefer to overlook but an understanding of the processes which led them to come to a close. A firm understanding of these helps to inform where we are today.

For some this may inspire some and for others it may lead to discomfort, but for authenticity and posterity, it is required of us.

Even more so than reflecting on black achievement, the month long celebration also provides a platform for those in the present. This includes notable black figures of today who have carried the baton forward from those before them and continue to do so across a host of fields. Again, entertainment and sport offer the most mainstream and visibly appealing avenues by which this is seen, but this holds less true as time goes on. Across several disciplines including technology, fashion and the sciences, a burgeoning generation of black talent is ensuring that for those to come, Black achievement will no longer be obscured but equally visible in these spaces too. And not merely for the point of display either, but crucially, where ownership and leadership is concerned.

But perhaps this has always been the case? The more we continue to delve through history, Black achievement and influence becomes increasingly apparent across a host of areas where it had previously gone unacknowledged. This reflects but one aspect of the importance of black history month: the need to educate and inform. And amidst all of this, there remains far more to still uncover.

Black history Month can and will continue to mean many different things to many people. For some it will be a call to educate, for others a call to celebrate and for many more it will be a time to reflect both on where we have come from and are still headed, but in whatever guise it takes Black History cannot and should not be ignored. It is British history just as much as it is non-western history and just as much as it is the world's history.

Because all of our stories can and should be told.

Mayowa Ayodele

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A call to action...

For 24 years OBV have fought to ensure black and minority ethnic participation and representation in civic society. Efforts in continuing to do so though, relies on your help. That way we can continue this fight for greater race equality. What would give us a tremendous boost is if today, you made that small donation yourselves, but even more importantly if you encouraged others to do likewise.

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