January is a tricky time of year. We fall in a heap after the exhaustion of Christmas festivities; it’s still cold and dark, and the month seems never-ending.
Still, it’s a new year, and as human beings, we can’t help but crave newness, fresh beginnings and positivity. I won’t say that the last part is particularly easy with the backdrop of serious turmoil in Gaza.
This situation may not be happening within our diaspora, but it is happening on our planet, and it’s a challenging time as we witness events unfold.
For the first edition of 2024, Black Wall St media has managed to cover the realities of the global diaspora and it’s made for fascinating reading.
I enjoyed an article about a Ghanaian researcher who is championing inclusive workspaces in Australia. Black Wall St contributor and inclusion specialist Gloria Tabi shared some insights into her journey in Australia and her work to combat racism.
This piece truly amplified diverse voices and advocated for everyday inclusion. After reading a few articles like these, I always start to hope. Are we finally hearing the glass shatter in the ceiling? Or at least the sound of a deep crack? Well… not just yet.
Contributor Sheya Michaelides wrote, ‘Exposing Workplace Realities: Shocking stats reveal 52% of Black women in the UK plan to exit the workforce due to hostile environments.’
This was an eye-opener but, sadly, no surprise. Coqual’s report unveils prevalent disparities, micro-aggressions, and the urgent need for change.
Coqual’s report suggests that hostile work environments and micro-aggressions are creating a mass departure of Black female employees in the U.K. Solutions were offered in ‘Investing in Black Women’s Dreams’.
This thought-provoking piece focused on Investing in Black Women leaders with the dream capital they need.
“Empower Black women leaders to dream big and build lasting change! Join the movement for sustainable investment, inclusivity, and generational impact.
Let’s reshape philanthropy and support Black women in imagining and creating a better world.” I couldn’t agree more.
Our biggest obstacle is the institutionalised racism we can’t escape from hospitals to schools, universities, the workplace and beyond.
This was laid out in a brilliant piece by Anthony Peltier’s ‘Educating for empowerment not exclusion’.
“Young lives are at stake, and we must address the flawed system that unfairly excludes and fails our youth. Let’s advocate for inclusive education, support vulnerable students, and build a brighter future for all.”
As Anthony wrote, the reality is that schools hold the lives of our young people in their hands, and they are failing black and brown children across the country.
An example of this was given in Black Wall St Media’s Editor of Social Cause Affairs Daniella Maison in her piece ‘Off the Glass Cliff: Dr Gay and the Scrutiny of Ascent.’
In this deeply personal article, Daniella reflected on her challenging experiences, dealing with the tragic loss of her sister while in a hostile environment at her grammar school as one of three black students.
We need to keep having conversations like these until the situation for our children improves. A few years ago, when people started using the word ‘woke’, it was a positive thing.
It popped up around the time of Black Lives Matter and #MeToo and referred to the new generation of politically wide-awake change makers. Sadly, reading this edition, I learned that many White people have co-opted the term and use it as a derogatory slur.
There is actually an ‘anti-woke movement’ that represents those who want to silence the inclusion of Black voices by basically gaslighting us.
So now, instead of saying, “We don’t want books written by Black authors,” they can say, “We don’t want woke books.”
To be honest, that group of people will always find a way. What matters is that we keep on being as woke as possible and continue to create change despite examples like these, which seem a lot like gaslighting!
February is Black History Month for the American diaspora. As you probably know by now, I believe Black History Month should be all year round, so I am more than happy to get involved and enjoy BHM USA!
Articles like this month’s ‘Tracing Implicit Bias to its Roots: The Role of The Great Migration’ is one of the reasons why.
In a recent article published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, researchers shed light on a connection between current implicit bias among White individuals at the county level and the proportion of Black residents who lived in that county during the Great Migration, specifically around 1930.
This study supports the Bias of Crowds theory, emphasising how unequal environments or situations can contribute to collective levels of implicit bias.
This is such a unique and specific study area if made for an enlightening read, and I look forward to more articles from and about the American community over the next month.
As we enter the shortest month of the year, I hope that February shakes us out of our January blues and into a zone ready for a productive and positive 2024. I have a good feeling about this one.
“”Black Wall St. MediaContributor