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August Editors Letter

Transitioning to Autumn: Honoring Past Narratives & Celebrating Contemporary Milestones

“History is not just a reflection of our past; it's a compass for our future, guiding us through the tapestry of triumphs and trials that define our collective journey.”

Black Wall St. MediaContributor
Transitioning to Autumn: Honoring Past Narratives & Celebrating Contemporary Milestones

Diahanne Rhiney – Chief in Editor

As we enter September (after a disappointingly cool summer) and make the first calendrical shift towards Autumn, there is a part of me that is ready for a change of pace.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t enjoy the cold weather! But I do enjoy that we all become naturally inclined to spend more time in our homes creating cosy quiet spaces, moving gradually towards stillness. 

Although I’ll probably change my mind about this when the snow arrives, there is something comforting about the reflective time that hibernating brings. 

It’s been a fascinating month at Black Wall St Media and a notable moment for me was the monumental milestone of marking 75 years since the Windrush ship docked at Tilbury and permanently changed the fabric of the nation.

Remembering Ivan Van Sertima: A Life Dedicated to Uncovering History's Untold Narratives

Remembering Ivan Van Sertima: A Life Dedicated to Uncovering History’s Untold Narratives

I was enthralled by ‘Remembering Ivan Van Sertima: A Life Dedicated to Uncovering History’s Untold Narratives’. Ivan Van Sertima, through his groundbreaking research and intellect, illuminated the interconnectedness of African history with global civilisation’s.

“His dedication to bringing to light the overlooked facets of history continues to inspire scholars, contributing to a deeper understanding of our world’s rich and diverse cultural heritage”

Augusts articles in Black Wall St Media made sure to honour and spotlight the ways in which Black History feeds into modern achievement and I love tracing the connectivity between past and present.

This month was my first time reading about Guyanese icon Rahasya Rudra Narayan, who was an emblematic figure in the British legal community and civil rights movement, serving as the voice for the oppressed and marginalised.

BWSM’s article about him explored the life, legacy, and persistent struggles of a remarkable man, who challenged socio-legal frameworks and played a pivotal role in Britain’s civil rights history.

I loved reading about ‘The Rens’ and the incredible work they put in at such a young age into creating lasting change in sports.

The New York Rens' Basketball Legacy

The New York Rens’ Basketball Legacy

The New York Renaissance, or the Rens as they are popularly known, hold this illustrious position, with their establishment on February 13, 1923, marking a watershed moment in the evolution of professional basketball and the fight against racial inequality in America.

It’s hard to imagine just how much these young men went through and it’s so important that we remember their achievements and tribulations.

Professor Hakim Adi provided a harrowing insight into how deeply rooted the ‘Whitelash’ is in education.

Following this piece with a contribution about the issue of systemic racism based on a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry was particularly important read for me as a psychologist and as a parent.

Reading studies that explore the stressful experiences that act as toxic stressors and alter the brain regions tied to processing stress and trauma in children. Devastatingly, this impact is significantly more severe in Black children due to their higher exposure to poverty and adversity.

On the topic of mental health, I sat down to interview an amazing young person for my Tea & Chat episode with the inspiring tale of Siyani Sheth, a 17-year-old drama scholar, who has courageously written a play to shed light on her own struggles with mental illness.

Three years ago, at the tender age of 15, Siyani received diagnoses that changed the course of her life: depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, and later, PTSD. Interviewing her was just so inspiring.

Another key moment for me in August was esteemed Human Rights Lawyer, Jacqueline McKenzie open letter to the Prime Minister.

“The current administration’s narrative, painting these lawyers in a disparaging light, endangers professionals like the esteemed Human Rights Lawyer, Jacqueline McKenzie. It’s deeply troubling to observe her representation in media as the attorney “halting the boats”.

This is seriously important work, and their endeavours have my full backing and support.

Back to the topic of the Windrush, English teacher Samantha Wharton took us through some of the exciting changes to the English curriculum – featuring stories of the Windrush generation.

As like many of you I am busy getting ready to pack children off for a new term, it brightened my month to read that for the first time, two play-texts by Black British female writers will feature on the English specification across three exam boards. These are the areas of change we need to know about and that BWSM continue to share!

So as we begin the process of winding down into ‘hibernation mode’, return from holidays, send our kids back to school, and begin to gear up for Black History Month in October,  I look forward to reading and writing about more areas of key growth and change across the diaspora. Stay safe out there, until next time.

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