Throughout October we will be celebrating the deep and rich history of black culture in Britain and taking the opportunity to learn about some important people in our diverse country.
Black History Month is important as it highlights the contribution of black Britons in our country over the years. It gives us the opportunity to share, celebrate and understand the impact of black heritage and culture.
Housing associations like ours were initially set up to give back the dignity taken from black and diverse people who were shunned and forced to live in poor quality housing because of racist attitudes. Remembering and celebrating the history of black people in the Britain also allows us to do the same for our residents, our colleagues and organisation as a whole.
Kate Davies, chief executive, shares her views on Black History Month and why it’s important,
“This month-long celebration came into being to make everyone more aware of the role and contribution of black people to our country and society because school history (in particular) was sadly lacking. Black children especially, sitting through white history lessons, felt ignored, silenced, or excluded. So, the efforts of black activists, social historians and concerned citizens to redress the balance is important.
“But there is something else. What we can learn from this month is very important for white people too. The history of slavery, imperialism and racism is something we all need to understand. It is our history too, a history we need to understand in context and address.
Please get involved. History - even the history of our organisation - can teach you things and help you avoid the mistakes of the past. I have learned a great deal about people like Mary Seacoal, Mary Prince, Olaudah Equiano, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Margaret Busby through Black History Month and look forward to learning more this year. Stories of people overcoming huge odds to succeed are always inspirational!
Throughout the month, we will be publishing a series of features and blogs celebrating the achievements of iconic black Britons who have shaped British culture as we know it.
Kaleidoscope, a festival of diversity in Southwark which we support, will also be hosting several free events such as a BME film and history talk on Thursday 7 October and an event for everyone to share and celebrate black heritage on Sunday 17 October.
Have a look at the posters below and come along. Be curious, ask questions, and take the time to learn about what is such a big part of British history.