Celebrating Black History Month
Black History Month is a national celebration every year in October to honour the too-often unheralded accomplishment of Black people in our history.
The theme for Black History Month this year is ‘Proud To Be’, inviting people throughout the UK to share what they are proud to be. For example, Proud To Be Black, Proud To Be Brown, Proud To Be Black & LGBTQ+, Proud To Be Me. The campaign aims to make Black History Month 2021 personal and unique to individuals, families and communities, focusing on how we’re all making history all the time in our own ways, as well as the contributions and achievements of Black people throughout history.
“Black History is a rich tapestry of often hidden gems. Discovery and knowledge is key. It has been great getting involved in activities this month as part of our Diversity Action Group and raising awareness, and I am proud to have been a part of this. I believe it is really important to know our history and achievements – not just in October but all year through.” – Veronica, Keyworker
“My name is Anne. This Black History Month I want to share that I am proud to be creative, I am proud to be British Nigerian, I am proud to be unique, I am proud to be a part of a team/family, I am proud to be a grandmother. Today and every day we celebrate out wonderful hues, our unique and diverse cultures! It makes the world richer and a beautiful place to be.” – Anne, Deputy Manager (Direct Assessment Hub)
Here are some of the activities we’ve taken part in this month:
- Rathbone Roots Festival – Raise the Roof, 9th October – In collaboration with the London Borough of Newham, we hosted a free community festival to celebrate the contributions and talents of our local community. Those performing on the day used comedy and music to share their experiences and black heritage, and stories growing up around Newham. Our host was comedian Quincy, aka the ‘Cockney Prince’, and performances included comedian Victor Daniels (a former resident of Your Place), AURA-KL (a rising hip hop artist and current resident) and Navina (an indie folk singer songwriter). You can find out more about the event here.
“My first ever festival stage performance is in my hometown and at the start of Black History Month? It’s a dream I didn’t know I wanted. I decided to live out my dream of being a rapper at the start of lockdown whilst street homeless and unemployed. Music has given me the strength to keep going and document my experiences, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to share it.” – AURA – KL
- Wear Red Day 21 – Show Racism the Red Card, 22nd October – to mark Wear Red Day 21, residents and employees of Your Place wore red clothes to show racism the red card. This is particularly important following the events this summer after Euro 2020, where England players were subject to racist abuse. Please see picture above. Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) is the UK’s largest anti-racism educational charity, established in 1996, and we were glad to get involved.
- Visit to Museum of London Docklands, 28th October- A group of residents and employees will be visiting the Museum of London to see the Feeding Black: Community, Power & Place exhibition. This is a new display exploring the central role food plays in Black enterprise and identity in South East London, and will provide an opportunity for our people to learn more about local culture. More information here.