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Saturday, October 6, 2018

What Black History Month Means To Us

As BLACK HISTORY MONTH begins I have found myself reflecting on what exactly it means to me and my family. As a family that is fortunate enough to be rich in a number of different cultures, I feel it is an important job for me as a mum to educate my children on the different histories and cultures that make us who we are and remind my them that those things don't separate us but make us special. Whilst there are some daily practises in our lives that are a part of our culture, for instance the way in which we care for our hair or in the food we eat, languages and terminology used, Black History Month is a great way of highlighting some of the forgotten stories and events that have shaped our families and the people we have become. The are some wonderful and courageous people who have positively contributed the world we live in today and made so many things possible for people for people just like myself.

I'm very lucky to have had many opportunities in life, including travel, study and work that have opened my eyes to things I may not have otherwise had the opportunity to experience and it is because I know that my ancestors just like the ancestors of many others were denied those opportunities for no other reason than the colour of their skin and fought so very hard for future generations to have these chances that I grab them with both hands.

One of the reasons I felt compelled to write this post is as a mummy blogger, I frequent many parenting forums, networks and read many blogs daily and there is always very little mention of black history month and in some cases no mention at all. I could spend hours going on about what black history month means to me and reel off names of many black people who have contributed to the world we live in but this post isn't about that, it's about seeing if what I am trying to teach my children is getting through to them and hearing what black history month means to the next generation, the ones who can make a difference in this world, MY CHILDREN. Unfortunately, even in this day and age there are still so many negative stereotypes surrounding black people, particularly young black men and boys and I work hard to prove that my children do not fit those stereotypes which is a sad thing for a parent to have to do. But with my daughters recent GCSE results, my oldest son's sporting achievements and my youngest son's amazing ability in maths we are proving ignorant people wrong.

Some time ago I asked each of them what black history month means to them and even now I'm still bursting with pride at their responses. 

Mikhayla, 14"I believe Black History Month is a celebration of achievements and movements made by not just famous individuals but by lesser known people too. It is a time to reflect on what is great about our cultures and traditions and acknowledge some of the wonderful things people have done for us. We can also use this month to let our mentors and role models now how proud we are of them and grateful for their contribution to our lives."

Jason, 12"To me Black History Month means achieving goals  and proving that skin colour shouldn't limit our ability to be who we want to be."

Samuel,7"It means I am proud of who I am and love my Mummy and Daddy, 2 grandmas, 2 grandads and nanny. It means that I get to eat lots of different foods and hear different stories and songs from the olden times in the Caribbean. I love my family."

I really couldn't have put it better myself. 

So this month immerse yourself in a different culture, find out if your local authority are running any special events, learn about some of the amazing black people who have influenced society as we know it and enjoy Black History Month!

Emma xoxo

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