By Damilola Gbinigie
“Black History Month is celebrated for 31 days in a year, what about the other 334 days of the year? Is Ethnicity to be adorned at a prescribed time or, at all times?”
The month of October affords us all the opportunity to witness another Black History Month enabling us to recognise and enrich our communities with the celebration of our hidden history. BHM gives the opportunity to showcase the long forgotten positive contributions made by people from the ethnic minority to the British society and those that are presently being made. Black History Month is celebrated for 31 days in a year, what about the other 334 days of the year? Is Ethnicity to be adorned at a prescribed time or, at all times? Black history is a cloak we are enshrouded in and maybe hence we take it for granted. We need to display our heritage at all times, if not for our sake at least for the sake of the future generations. When we regularly embrace the positive contributions of bygone generations who have paved the way for us to emulate and build on, only then will Black History break down the barriers in society.
As we come from a heritage that’s rich in history and culture, we can all do our bit to contribute towards this empowering month, Black History Month should be celebrated by us all. We can all partake in this great enlightenment for all by doing our own bit, may it be sharing our favourite mouth watering jerk chicken and jollof rice to name a few, wearing our traditional clothing, playing traditional music, sharing poetry and writings by Hadraawi, Amina Jama, Asma Elbadawi, John Agard, Niyi Osundare, Chimamanda Adichie and the list goes on. We don’t need permission or a reason to celebrate our history, we simply need to step into it. Only when Black History is celebrated at all times will it become the norm and not the exception. This is what the future generation need to achieve a strong clear sense of identity which will allow them to thrive in a multi-cultural society. There is greatness in upholding our roots and core values. Time to cease the opportunity to give credit to our Grandmothers, Mothers and Sisters who are doing a great job by following Mary Seacoles’ footsteps in making positive contributions towards the functioning of the NHS, Social Services, Public Services, Charity Organisations, Prison Services, Education, Immigration, Research and the Private sector.
Let us know what your plans are for celebrating and promoting Black History Month.