Article written for the University’s newspaper, the Mancunion, in occasion of October’s Black History Month, at the University of Manchester, and published on 3/11/14.
Black History Month should be every month. We should talk about Black History every month of every year, because we need to understand and to learn.
|Page 8 of the Mancunion, University of Manchester
As young people is our responsibility to educate, empower and celebrate our multicultural society, embracing our differences and making the most out of it, in order to do better than how our great-grandfathers did; or to do what they didn’t have the knowledge, means and authority to do.
Although Black History Month is not every month of the year, I’m glad we have one out of twelve: one to understand, to talk and to share those burning issues we avoid voicing out and that are consuming our social relationships.
This month is to inspire and to educate, and as such, it is our duty as community of people who know better, to bring to the table the things we do not feel comfortable with. This is the moment to talk about race, to enlighten about stereotypes and demonise ignorance. It’s a chance to share and to try to understand what is and where the line between racism, ignorance and curiosity can be found and what we, as people who struggle every day to change the conversation, can do to make the difference; it’s the moment to educate those who often fall into racist/ignorant situations, transforming what could be an angry and unproductive confrontation, into a moment to learn and to correct one’s social manner.
We live in a multicultural society and while one would gladly notice what bring and shape us in togetherness, sometimes we are reminded with uncomfortable truth the similarities we will never have. So it happens that there’s a constant battle within, a battle that eats up the good in us and transform us in categories rather than people.
|University of Manchester’s Black History Month 2014 banner
This month is the time to learn how we can cohabitate, how we can stop defining ourselves according to our appearance, but in accord with our being and doing.
Special thanks goes to Tanisha Douglas, my BME co-Officer and Tessy Maritim, UoMSU Diversity Officer, without whom this year’s BHM wouldn’t have come into being; and immense gratitude goes to the phenomenal team of passionate students who took the trouble to put all the events of BHM together. You guys are awesome!
Appreciation goes to the Mancunion for giving us the platform to share and make our voice heard.
Follow the conversation on Facebook by liking the University of Manchester Black & Minority Ethnic network page BME MCR.