October is Black History Month and wanting to find out more, I did what any self-respecting individual would do….I asked Siri!
After wading through all that internet noise, she (Siri) found that Black History Month in Britain is 30 years old this year and is 90 years old in the USA. Even though America has 60 years on us, 30 is a special and significant birthday none the less… right?!
According to THE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO BLACK HISTORY MONTH UK, this is a time of celebration; recognising and valuing the inspirational individuals and events from within the BME communities…with important reference to the black society.
So, what has been the news headlines ‘so far’ during this, our Black History 30th Anniversary 2017 UK celebratory month?
- BBC: Dove Apologises for racist Facebook advertising campaign
- A new Ethnicity Facts and Figures website published the government’s audit, which looks at how people of different races are treated in areas such as education, employment and the criminal justice system. According to Prime Minister Theresa May, ‘it exposes some uncomfortable truths’
- INDEPENDENT: Racial inequality in UK: The appalling reality of how a Briton’s ethnicity affects their chances of a good life
- THE SUNDAY TIMES: Black students less likely to get a first
And we’re only halfway through October with another half to go – the ‘celebratory news’ will carry on!
I’ve been dipping in and out of what’s been happening in the US news and there’s a lot of talk lately about American football.
American football players have been protesting against racial injustice and police brutality by kneeling as the national anthem is being played. In the home of the brave and the land of the free where slavery was abolished in 1865; in this 2017, the 90th anniversary of Black History Month in America – American citizens are kneeling in protest at racial injustice.
I see the videos which show why these players are protesting. I’ve noticed, that we don’t even add to our responses; or question whether they’ve been edited anymore. Instead I watch, have a few private thoughts to myself and then click the button – off it goes and it’s shared with others.
Have we become so used to this script, having watched the same clip over and over and over again, we no longer even comment or express a view because we always know how the story ends – after all its been recorded for us?
Sadly, it’s not surprising anymore. No more surprising than what’s been in the UK news so far this month. The fact is, what’s been published isn’t really news, these conversations have been happening in communities since, well I can’t remember when.
I’m a first generation British born and I find myself thinking about my family’s experiences when they came to the UK all those years ago. After all these years are the stories and experiences that different?
I have a limited amount of words to use here, so will leave you to your own devices to debate and come to your own conclusions about where we are as a society. I will sum up my thoughts, with one word – ‘Bad’. Stolen from the President of the United States, who I’d consider to be a master in the use of 140 characters.
So, this is where we are now, on our 30th anniversary of celebrating Black History Month – 60 years behind the USA.
Fast forwarding: What can our future generations expect and see during our Black History Month’s Diamond Jubilee? More apologies reported on the BBC, more facts and figures with uncomfortable truths and kneeling during the national anthem, or for them, will the stories and experiences they share be different?
If this isn’t the case, it would be ‘Bad’, very ‘Bad’ indeed…