THREE SIXTY CONVERSATIONS - BLACK HISTORY MONTH TAKE OVER!

BLACK HISTORY MONTH UK, Mary Seacole, Toni Morrison, Jessica Huie, Alize Demange, inclusion,
 
 

Its October!! It's Black History Month here in the UK.

 

Black History Month is a way of reflecting on the rich history of Black people as our contribution to the world is at best, whitewashed and at worst erased due to systemic racism.

 

This black history month I have decided to host an intergenerational audio community project that does more than reflect and acknowledge. 

 

For years I have grappled with black history month as it tends to revolve around a single story of lack. It got me thinking about trauma and how people are re-traumatised, desensitised and conditioned by the repetition of a single story big up Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie!

 

In Chimamanda’s infamous ted talk on the danger of a single storey she refers to the unintended consequence of monolithic narratives.

 

“Now, I loved those American and British books I read. They stirred my imagination. They opened up new worlds for me. But the unintended consequence was that I did not know that people like me could exist in literature. So what the discovery of African writers did for me was this: It saved me from having a single story of what books are”. - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

 

The unintended consequence of the erasure or black people in history and the whitewashing of stories means that white and black people have been denied the opportunity to learn about the contribution of black people. Denied the opportunity to understand what has led to the current social, economic, political and cultural landscape for us all. 

 

Black history is world history. 

 

Furthermore the monolithic narrative has relegated the black experience to struggle alone even though this is not the case.

 

 During a divine connection with my ancestors they gave me a message.

 

They endured, suffered and survived because they had to. We are being called to look to their experience for clues to build on their legacy rather than be distracted. 

 

During a divine connection with my ancestors they gave me a message.

 

They endured, suffered and survived because they had to. We are being called to look to their experience for clues to build on their legacy rather than be distracted. 

 

"The very serious function of racism … is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and so you spend 20 years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says that you have no art so you dredge that up. Somebody says that you have no kingdoms and so you dredge that up. None of that is necessary.” Toni Morrison.

 

This Black History Month I would like to honour our female ancestors with a special audio community project. Throughout October I am dedicating my award winning podcast, Three Sixty Conversations to the Black women that stood tall creating sturdy shoulders for us to stand upon and self actualise.

 

Throughout October 2019 I will use my podcast to share audio recordings with formidable women of African descent honouring a black female historical figure and:

  • What this person’s contribution to the world means to them.

  • What they have learnt from this historical figure in terms of self care and wellness.

 

As always I referred to the dictionary to be sure that the correct word to describe what we are doing is correct.

 

To honour-  the quality of knowing and doing what is morally right.

 

I believe that it is morally right for us to honour the women that have gone before. To honour the women that have provided sturdy shoulders to lift us higher by exploring how their grit can become our grace.

 

Enjoy.