Why Black History Month 2020 Is More Important Than Ever.
2020 has been the year that nobody was expecting, we’ve spent months separated from family and friends and faced a virus which feels all too comparable an epic disaster movie to be real. Not only have we lost lives to Coronavirus this year, we have seen more black lives lost at the hands of police.
Although this is nothing new, the brutality has been bought further to the world’s attention by the increased time spent online at home and the proof of medical care inequalities highlighted by the statistics coronavirus has brought to the foreground.
The killing of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests and media coverage surrounding it have shown how little people seem to understand about the history behind racial inequality and how it still affects attitudes and actions today. The media’s headlines quash hope of allyship and anti-racism from white brits as they twist calls for equality into race rows to sell papers.
As white, gay women, my wife and I can relate to a small fraction of prejudice and oppression which comes with our gender and sexuality, but more often can feel the effects of our white privilege when hearing the comments made by other white people who will of course assume you hold the same opinions as them.
Unfortunately, people can be very short sighted, and we often notice they are unable to make any connection between black history, and black present. Learning black history is the key to understanding why certain actions or comments are racist and only through education of the past, can we ensure we do not repeat the same mistakes in the future. Black history is rarely taught in schools, which is why educating yourself and your loved ones is key. October gives us an opportunity to focus on this topic, but it is vital we keep up this learning all year round – racism doesn’t take a break.
Simple historic facts, such as the UKs taxpayer only paying off compensation to slave owners in 2015, and the French charging Haiti for their freedom – and collecting payment through providing Haiti with high interest loans of which the interest was never cancelled, explain concisely why the conversation around reparations is long overdue. The evident length and quantity of payments surrounding the belief that black people were property or lesser value human shows how the financial imbalance of society is still affected by – not so – historic racism.
Today we want to use our blog to direct you to some black voices and some valuable resources which you can use to educate yourself this October and beyond: