Happy “Black History Month!” Yeah, That opening line made me laugh too. I find it hard to see why we even have a “Black History Month” here in the UK to be honest. Back when I was in secondary school I remember one October me and a few other Black students literally begged our teachers to let us learn some Black History, what with it being Black History month and all. Can you guess what happened next? We were dismissed and told “No, there isn’t enough time in the curriculum.” How lovely. One month out of the whole year and not even enough time for a single lesson? In terms of priorities it’s clear to see we were at the bottom.
Anyhow, let’s let bygones be bygones. I’m not here to rant and complain like I usually do, that was the old me. The new me is more positive, the new me has hope. The new me doesn’t just moan, he acts. Here at House of Black I want to take the “idea” (or intention rather) of Black History Month and make it a way of life. My identity, my history, my “blackness” –whatever that means- should not and will no longer be confined or placed into a monthly bracket as if to say we as a people are periodic, only worth paying attention to for a certain amount of time. From this day forward I promise you we will make it a part of everyday life, because despite what you may have been told it’s not just a “Black thing,” it’s not something separate, and it shouldn’t only last a month.
Now that I’m a man of action- “be the change you want to see” and all that lark- I’m going to get the ball rolling right here, right now. On the first day of “Black History Month,” on the first day of the rest of my new life as a proud Black British citizen (queue epic movie music) where I don’t forget my identity, culture or history for 11 months of the year, where I remember and celebrate it all year long; I want to stop and take a look back. I’m not talking Slavery Days or Pharaohs and Pyramids in Egypt, just a little bit back, in our lifetime or our parents lifetime. I want to know who from the Black British community has made an impact? Who can I be proud to claim? Is there anyone?
I need you to tell me who you think has made their mark? Who is Black, British and Brilliant? Who would you consider an icon? I’m talking Film, Television, Sports, Fashion, Music, the lot! Is it Naomi Campbell the world’s first Black Super Model or perhaps new girl Jourdan Dunn (discovered in Primark) has caught your eye? Do you think Lennox Lewis is the greatest British Boxer of our time? Or maybe it’s the young man making major strides on the pitch, Raheem Sterling who has you all “gassed up?” Please get in touch and let me know! Comment on this post or tweet me at @houseofblackuk Don’t forget to share and let’s keep the conversation going! #blackbritishicons