Why Is Black History Month Not Respected?
- Asia East
Black History Month celebrates important people and events that have contributed to the African - Caribbean community Has the UK lost respect for this time of the year?
It’s the start of October and that means a lot of different things to different people. We are a month deep into the academic year, so you can no longer use the excuse that ‘school just started.’ Starbucks have started selling their Pumpkin Spiced Lattes and because of the unpredictable weather a coat is no longer optional. For me, it kicks off the countdown to my birthday and more importantly the month dedicated to celebrating Black History.
Black History Month is a time of empowerment and inspiration as we reflect on the past of our rich and powerful culture. I think it is really important to know about the lives of our ancestors and what led our families to settle in Britain.
Growing up, my mum taught me a lot and I have learnt that our history is bigger than slavery. In fact, some of our ancestors were living as Kings and Queens before we were enslaved by the Europeans! Unfortunately not all parents are as woke as my mine and some young people don’t know their history.
My problem is that the way in which my school chooses to approach Black History Month, is by putting on Alex Haley’s Roots and telling us about Martin Luther King Jr’s I Have A Dream Speech, every – single – year. Whilst they are both important parts of history, I do not feel this is good enough, especially considering that the majority of students at my school, come from African and Caribbean backgrounds.
It could be put down to the majority white teaching staff not wanting to make anyone feel uncomfortable but when we go out of our way to commemorate 9/11, the Jewish holocaust and Remembrance Day it’s a bit unfair seeing Black History material being recycled every year.
There are many people who believe Black History Month as dwelling on the past and creating segregation. I would argue that it does the complete opposite. The calls for it to be axed and the fact that funding was cut makes me wonder if the UK Government are trying to make us forget, to avoid conversations about their involvement in the African Slave Trade and the reparations it owes the nations it destroyed.