September is officially behind us, and October is underway.
This is the time of year when I usually wonder two things; the first is, where did the year go? The second is my annual grapple with why black history month is still only this one month when I’m black all year round… but more about that later. For now, I want to focus on the moments that the Black Wall St Media team covered in September: the highs and the lows that make Black History Month around here every month!
I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Grenada’s Unsung Heroes: The Island’s Pivotal Role in World War II. Throughout the tumultuous period of World War II, the Caribbean played a pivotal yet often overlooked role. Islands like Grenada showcased adaptability. So often, the smaller Caribbean islands are overlooked in history, so this was an important contribution.
Equally as inspiring was a piece on the history of Britain’s Metropolitan Police and the black figures who stand tall, breaking barriers and changing perceptions. Robert Branford is one such figure whose tale defies many preconceived notions about race relations in 19th-century Britain.
I was intrigued by Yvonne Singh’s contribution, Scotland’s Hidden Ties to Slavery: A Journey from the Highlands to Guyana. She argues that the portrayal of Scots as abolitionists and liberal champions has hidden a long history of profiting from slavery in the Caribbean.
As someone who has championed Sickle cell awareness, I was fascinated to read about Sickle Cell’s First Documented Patient: Walter Noel’s Story.
Historical reviews of medical discoveries often celebrate the physicians or scientists and rarely focus on the individual patients whose experience was crucial to the discovery. The case of Walter Clement Noel, the first documented patient with sickle-cell disease, is a compelling story.
Having just recently interviewed Joy Harden Bradford for Tea and a Chat regarding her book ‘Sisterhood Heals’: The Essence of Black Sisterhood and Its Transformative Healing In the Realm of intimate relationships, I was so happy to see her featured in an article about her book, which captures the profound nature of connection like Black sisterhood.
The topic is dear to my heart, and Joy’s book unravels Black sisterhood as a haven of support, understanding and love.
In all my work in the fields of equality, equity, Intersectionality, race in the workplace and more, I have always maintained that the insidious nature of institutional racism in Britain is dangerous for our mentality and well-being and needs to be acknowledged before it can be addressed.
This month’s important piece was about the concept of institutional racism and how it thrives in an environment of ‘systemic biases and discriminatory practices that persist within various societal structures.’
The article argues that understanding Institutional Racism at its core, institutional racism refers to the inherent biases and discriminatory practices that are embedded within the structures of government, education, healthcare, and criminal justice systems.
This brings me back to Black History Month because understanding and knowledge are key here. Black History isn’t only about slavery; it’s about our rich history of achievement and growth despite slavery.
It’s about our young people having a deeper understanding of where they are from, but also for those who aren’t black to have a positive understanding of the community they are sharing schools, universities and workplaces with.
Black History all year round is an important step in combatting institutional racism.
I know this won’t happen overnight, but it doesn’t mean I will stop pushing for it! As Mae C. Jemison said, ‘Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.’
However, in the meantime, I’m happy to jump in and celebrate our culture and history in the window we’ve been given, which for now is only a month.
Black Wall St. media really kept the hot topics flowing all September, so I know October will be packed to the brim with fascinating reads as we all do our bit. Wishing you all an elevated, inspirational, and informative Black History Month. Until next time…
Black Wall St. MediaContributor