October is Black History Month in the UK. Every year we take time during this month to celebrate Black history, learn more about past events and reflect on the incredible Black people making history in the UK. This year the theme is Proud To Be, designed to honour the too-often unheralded accomplishments of Black Britons in every area of endeavour throughout our history.
Black History Month is important because looking at the past gives us vital context for present events, and it's a wonderful opportunity to understand Black history and spotlight Black achievements. Learning about and celebrating the contribution and stories of often forgotten or neglected Black people is a great way to change the narrative going forwards.
With this in mind, we asked some of our One Manchester colleagues to tell us what Black History Month means to them, and this is what they had to say...
Lynda, Income Officer
"Be Your Authentic Self
Do not be limited by other people’s perception, thoughts, unkindness
For the vision you have for yourself can be endless
Be proud of who you are."
Elizabeth, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Manager
"So I'm asked to give a quote as to why black history month is important, and why from my point of view it should be celebrated. I recognise that for a period of time I didn't know anything about my history and when I started to learn about my history it empowered me to such a level that I just wanted everybody else have the same experience too.
I just thought we are prideful people, we do have a history that goes beyond slavery, we have more than a history of poverty, we are more than the stereotype of poor immigrants from countries where nobody has houses, and nobody has shoes and people depend on other states to keep them alive.
Finding out that we had a rich history and such talented people in our past that helped make the world what it is today such as the inventors, scientists, bankers, and agricultural people who worked the land, we have beautiful and highly developed countries.
Identifying and finding out about this rich history changed my view about myself and I promised myself that at least every year when black history month came around I would do my part to share my knowledge about the rich and prideful history which was my heritage."
It's important we remember bhm for these reasons and many more.
Isaac, Income Officer
"What Does Black History Month mean to me? It is an opportunity to celebrate black achievements in our place of work, communities, country and all over the world in education, integration, leadership, entertainment, culture, sports, politics, and socio- economic development. Whilst we are profoundly proud of these achievements, we should continue to recognise the struggles of the past that have created these positive and meaningful changes that we now enjoy. It is also a reminder that we should continue to build on these successes, for the benefit of future generations."