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Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Black History Month

Black History Month
Believe me when I say,
Black people have contributed to this country in a very significant way.

They have been around a very long time,
fighting for King and Queen, right there on the front line.
They have worked in hospitals,
and driven the country’s buses.
But despite these contributions,
we are often asked what all the fuss is.
Why do we bother with Black History Month each year?
is a call I regularly hear.

A good response I have often heard
consists of these coherent words.
Because a people without history makes them invisible,
hard to see their contributions to the UK.
It erases their existence and their experience,
making discrimination seem right and OK.

We need the awakening consciousness of our history as our guiding tutor,
providing our children with a brighter future.
We need to remember that history belongs to the world;
we need the contributions of Black people to be unfurl’d.

Egyptians were black; the Pharaohs built pyramids to the sky.
We can’t collude with this massive lie.
The myth that Black people are recent arrivals,
the untruths that they just came to England to preserve their survival.

There is a gap, you see, in the education system.
Therefore, Black history month provides the opportunity for people to listen.

It promotes equality and tackles unlawful discrimination.
It provides us all with forgotten information.
It reminds us that black people have been here since the 16th C;
It allows black young people to feel proud and to feel free.

Free to tell the stories of their forefathers’ hard graft;
it puts a marker down for the future. And the past.

It helps Black young people to clearly identify
and to help them see beyond the historical lies.

The fact is Black people are successful,
they are creative and strong.
Black History Month provides them with an annual platform
to be seen. And to belong
So all of you that shout loudly that Black History month is a ‘waste of time’.
need to see that it’s an opportunity for people of colour to stand out and to shine

It is a time to right the inequalities of the past;
to big up the contributions of Black people, at long last.

EVERY day is a Black History Day.
A month does not show the progress in its entire array

However, a month does take the contributions of Black people from the shade,
from underneath the rocks, where forgotten memories are laid.

The month shows unity where before, this was forbidden.
It finally showcases the contributions where before, they were hidden
And it writes our history where before, it was untold
It leaves a legacy for our young people. To have and to hold

Alyson Malach

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