It happens to be Black History Month, now it can be debated how much we need this month and even how significant it is. I’m going to use almost the same argument I’d make for Valentine’s Day (because tbh how significant is V Day really)
Black History Month is 1 month of 12 that gives people the collective spirit to embrace being black the same way V Day is 1 day out of 365 that gives people the collective spirit to ‘show their partners they love them’.
Now don’t get me wrong BHM is lovely and all that but a part of me feels like it’s just a metaphorical small bone that we’re given to chew and make us stop barking for a little bit. Through research I found out that a Ghanaian man Akyaaba Addai-Sebo established BHM in 1987.
I feel like there’s a battle taking place between the BHM we deserve and the one we actually get. There’s only so much slavery and civil rights activism that you can push down Black British people before it loses its significance. Please no one take this wrong but I get it Malcom X, Dr Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela etc were all great however at this point I don’t feel it anymore and really we can’t expect younger people to do so.
Recently I’ve seen online that African Americans feel that us British Black people can’t relate to their struggle and their culture and I agree but it’s not our fault, in school we get taught history which is probably involving 98% white people then the only history we’ll get incorporating black people is American Civil Rights and slavery.
For me that’s why BHM is something that needs to be reworked and curated properly especially in schools. We can’t just keep being fed civil rights and slavery. We can’t just keep telling young black children stories of historical oppression and want them to be inspired as well as proud of who they are.
Why Not This History?
Like I said before our history is more than oppression and trauma, we were once rulers of rich and powerful empires. Namely the Mali Empire home to arguably the richest man that ever lived Mansa Musa. It’s a big shame I had to find out about him from a drill song (if you know you know).
It’s a well known fact that African countries are home and had ownership of valuable natural resources such as diamonds and gold. We never get told that history, instead we are told and shown the story of how we lost them… actually scratch that how the British and those alike STOLE them as well COLONISED us.
This is why Black Panther had such a great impact on many people, Wakanda is essentially an adaptation of what Africa could’ve been like if they were left alone and allowed to thrive as opposed to taken advantage of. If I’m honest I can’t put it all on schools we as humans have a duty to ourselves to widen our knowledge base and not just rely on a group of people that you call Miss or Sir who get paid to teach a curriculum that they get made to teach.
Do you feel that you would be a different person today if you were told more about positive black history as you were growing up?
Out With the Old in With the New
The title of the blog is what I want for BHM going forward there is so much ground and barrier breaking black people that are currently living and are much more relatable to the current crop of young people. I feel it’s important to push that message because our generation is the key to so much success and to get the most out of us it is going to take the influence of people we value most it’s not mainly going to be a lot of the deceased greats. We are in a very visual time where we need to see things to believe and see the journey of success to know it’s possible.
Quote of the Blog
BLACK BRITISH SUCCESS AND HISTORY MATTERS”Me