A word on Black History Month

Let's change the narrative and focus on Black joy this Black History Month. 

A word on Black History Month

October is Black History Month in the UK. Although Black History is all history that shouldn’t be confined to one month, it’s a great opportunity to redirect our energy from what we think we should be doing to what we should actually be doing to champion Black Britons.

My first memory of Black History Month was opening a textbook, seeing sketches of my people cuffed in a single file line, and boarding a boat with despaired expressions and anorexic bodies. That, and all of our features drawn incorrectly – so typical. As much as our history will forever influence us, Black History, in general, is so much more than the diabolical tale of slavery.

In a society where we can look at our people and see them thrive, see them with opportunities to do differently, isn’t it only right that we celebrate that growth, that progression and tell the tales of now?

For this Black History Month, just as with the last, we will focus on Black joy, shining a light on the #softlife and sharing the stories of Black creatives doing what they love, simply because they can.

If history has taught us anything, it’s that we, as Black people, cannot rely on others to tell our truth to the world. Whether that be constantly casting us as stereotypes, exaggerating our flaws or peddling misconceptions about who we are, it’s up to us to change our narrative and work to undo the assumptions placed on us. This tireless effort is not for the sake of those around us who made such misconceptions but for the sake of our history, present and future.

Black people can thrive. Black people can go on holiday. Black people can buy cars, complain about the weather, and celebrate life, love and happiness just as much as the next person.

Join us in the era of Black joy, and let us celebrate all there is to celebrate about Black culture now.

Header Image Credit: Amy Clewlow

Author

Saskia Calliste

Saskia Calliste Voice Team

Saskia is the Deputy Editor of Voice and has worked on campaigns such as International Women’s Day, Black History Month, and Anti-Bullying Week. Outside of Voice, Saskia is a published author (Hairvolution) and has guest featured in various other publications (The Women Writers’ Handbook/ Cosmopolitan/ The Highlight). She has a BA in Creative Writing and Journalism and an MA in Publishing. She is a mentor for Women of the World Global, has guest lectured at the University of Roehampton and has led seminars/panel talks on Race, Equality and Diversity. She was a 2022 Guest Judge for Dave (TV Channel) in search of the 'Joke of the Fringe'. She is 27-years-old, based in London, and loves to cook and explore new places in her spare time.

sincerelysaskia.com

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