Happy Black History Month!
It is essential that Liverpool John Moores University honours significant dates to the Black community, as well as commemorate and celebrate the contributions of Black people globally. As a tradition imported from America in the 80s, Black-British contributions are oftentimes omitted from public discourse and Black History Month is delivered in a banal manner that only reiterates the household names of the American Civil Rights Movement (i.e., Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King). This inevitably reduces the vast contributions, experiences and history of Black people globally to either the Transatlantic Slave Trade or the American Civil Rights Movement. Although these are undoubtedly momentous in Black history, it is vital that Black history is explored, learnt about and celebrated outside of the sole lens of anguish. Black History Month is indeed an opportunity to continue working on remedying the damage caused by enduring archaic systems and listening to the voices of Black people, but it is also a time to continue celebrating Black people, Black communities and Black history in a manner that uplifts and recognises the joy, beauty and vibrancy of cultures and customs across the Diaspora. Following the Black Lives Matter protests of last year, we were inundated with anti-racist platitudes on our social media feeds and performative black squares on Instagram. Although these virtual expressions have waned, the celebration and recognition of Black history should not. We have the opportunity to delve deeper and we should acknowledge and celebrate this breadth of history not only in October, but also all year-round.
So, in the spirit of celebration and reflection, why not get involved with the brilliant array of events occurring this month in Liverpool, in neighbouring cities and even virtually? Why not support local Black businesses? Or dedicate this month to educating yourself. On 22nd October 2021, the EDI Team and JSMU will be hosting a Cultural Fair with free African and Caribbean cuisine, live music and performances. You don’t want to miss out, so make sure you save the date! We’ll also be hosting other events throughout the month (and year!), so keep an eye out for more details on the website and on our social media platforms. Lastly, have a look through the links below for ideas on how to celebrate Black History Month 2021. Whether you choose delving into Akwaeke Emezi’s new book, dancing the night away at Blackfest, or perusing the National Museums in Liverpool; be sure to tell us all the great ways you celebrated BHM this year.
For more information about BHM or EDI related matters please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advisor
Here are some useful links for Black History Month: