Black History Month is a time to champion African and Caribbean culture in the UK. Year on year, we see a wealth of events hosted across the nation, aimed to educate and highlight, not only the difficulties that black people have and still face in society today, but to display how vibrant and rich their culture is.
With the beginning of the year starting off with the Windrush scandal, people came together to commemorate the Windrush generation, by holding events focusing on their contributions. However, not all efforts were met with open arms. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, tweeted that “It is more important now than ever that we learn and understand… the role…of the British Empire, colonisation and slavery”(1). His comments were met with anger, with one Tweeter stating black people shouldn’t be chained to their past and we should focus more on a brighter future.
On top of this, 2018 saw Wandsworth council and some schools changing Black History Month to “Diversity Month” who have been accused of diluting the event in orders to serve the “all lives matter” protest (2)
As always, there was still much to celebrate with this year focussing more on women’s contributions to society, seeing many black women sharing their success. Across social media hashtags such as #blackgirlmagic and #blackherstory were used over 1,000 times (3). Black girl fest also took over Timeout magazine last week. The event, which sold out in 5 days, this year focused on growth and gave people the opportunity to learn new skills with a variety of workshops, as well as having a range of speakers, from women in the queer community, to business owners.
2018 has felt like a year of uncertainty for the black community, but in a time where the likes of Big Shaq, Stormzy, Letitia Wright and Daniel Kaluuya are making such big waves worldwide, we cannot help but continue to celebrate their achievements and focus on a more inclusive future. Bring on Black History Month 2019!
(3) Crimson Hexagon: #blackgirlfest OR #blackgirlmagic OR #Blackgirlpower OR #blackgirlslay