Black History Month – Celebrated in October

Oakleaf Partnership champions our diverse community throughout the whole year, but as the month of October draws to a close we share some powerful words from Catherine Ross –  Editor of Black History Month Magazine & Website.

The theme for this year is Time for Change: Action Not Words.

“To get to a better tomorrow, we can’t just focus on the past. The past is in the past. We can acknowledge and learn from it, but to improve the future, we need action, not words. We need to come together around a shared common goal to achieve a better world for everyone.

To ensure real change, we need real support from our allies. It’s time to reset your mindset and support us with actions, not words. Join with us, see something, say something, don’t be a passive bystander. Not just at the weekend in the club or playing sports, but on the street, in shops, at work.

Being an ally means moving beyond short-term or performative gestures and taking real, long-term action. In the workplace, in places of education and learning, and in the public sphere, this means having policies in place that achieve real outcomes. As an individual, it means actually practising what you preach.

In the wake of 2020’s Black Lives Matter protests, many organisations and individuals committed to tackling racism. This was done around the world by taking the time to learn about the black experience and additionally, in the UK, this included learning about the historical legacy of colonialism and slavery. That was an important step forward, but it won’t fundamentally change institutional racism today.

A number of recent reports have called out racism across a range of sectors, from international aid and education to healthcare and policing. As a society, we all know there is a problem with institutional racism. Now we need to work together to tackle it.

Black people are often given the double burden of experiencing racism and discrimination, and then being expected to fix it. Hopefully, by making the theme of this year’s Black History Month magazine and website Time for Change: Action Not Words’ we can come together to make a change for the better.

Yes, Black History Month is a time to celebrate black history, heritage and culture, and the iconic figures that have contributed so much, but this year, let’s make it about so much more. If you’re serious about allyship, it’s Time for Change: “Action Not Words.”

Words from Catherine Ross – Editor of Black History Month Magazine & Website

Film Recommendations

American Son
Fruitvale Station
When They See Us

Book Recommendations

The Hate You Give
Me And White Supremacy
Black Feminist Thought
So You Want To Talk About Race

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