For me, the concept of ‘Black History month’ seems redundant. In a society that claims ‘social progression’ and ‘racial equality’ we must ask this question: why is it that there is only one single month of twelve dedicated to ‘Black’ histories? Black history has shaped the world and the Britain of today, and whether that is by household names such as Mandela, Maya Angelou and Malcolm X or by civil servants, directors and lawyers, they should never be overlooked. The histories of pioneers of every race and class should be continuously explored and taught to our children day in day out, not simply serving as the theme of an October celebration.
Regardless, it is undoubtable that Warwick’s Black History Month has proved to be a huge success. Long overdue – Warwick’s Anti-Racism society has provided us with debates not only limited to black issues, but those of ethnic minorities in general. Throughout all of the events, Warwick maintains an evident stance – it is not concerned with the stereotypical portrayal of the segregated minority.
When discussing segregation and struggle, self-pity did not play a role in the dialectic. Warwick Anti-Racism Society highlighted both the struggles and the achievements of ethnic minorities, something that was confirmed by the panelists themselves, who were both of a minority background and well established in their field.
Even when addressing the alarming rate of black youth being shot by the police in the panel discussion ‘This Doesn’t Happen to White People: Why Do So Many Black Boys End Up Shot Dead by the Police?’ we were also reminded of the empowering youth of Warwick who are willing to discuss these delicate matters. The youth who are willing to attend WarwickBHMS’s events regardless of whether the topics personally concern their daily lives. It was refreshing to be met with an audience who understood their role in society as the future policy makers, thinkers and debaters.
Warwick serves as a testament to social and racial inclusion. In every debate, we were met with an array of people of different race, class, sexual orientation and background, showing us that Anti-Racism is never limited to a particular individual or group in society. Our students demonstrated a collective appreciation of the need to talk about the neglected histories of ethnic minorities and of the more pressing racial issues in our current society.