Black History Month 2016
Black History Month
Black History Month takes place in October as celebration of the diversity in society whilst acknowledging and raising visibility and inclusion of BME identities. You can read more about Black History Month as well as find out about events taking place across the UK this October at the Black History Month website.
There are so many pioneers within the community who have strived for equality for LGBT people, that it's important we take their efforts in vain. From trans activitist and co-founder of Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, Marsha P. Johnson, to Tyler Ford, who shares their experiences and raises awareness of non-binary and agender people. Buzzfeed have published a piece titled, '16 Extraordinary Black Trans Leaders You Need To Know', which you can read here.
Below, you can can watch Queer and Trans activists discuss media and societies portrayal of Queer and Trans people of color, accountability, and how our communities fit into the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Sabah Choudrey, an LGBTQ BAME Consultant and Activist, in partnership with GIRES have published a 28-page guide with practical tips, guidance, and resources dedicated to supporting the Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) trans population of Britain. Read ‘Inclusivity – Supporting BAME Trans People' here.
The following piece is from one of our Trans Programme volunteers, Gino. This is Gino's personal account of his experiences and perspective on the Black Lives Matter movement.
Black Lives Matter because through justice, truth, peace and love we should know that everyone is equal. As humans we shouldn’t be caught up in anger, hatred and bitterness. We shouldn't have to justify the Black Lives Matter movement, and people shouldn't work so hard to silence the voices of those oppressed by shouting over us 'All Lives Matter.'
The Black Lives Matter movement focuses on black lives right now because it’s very apparent that our justice system doesn’t understand us and it discriminates against us. If everyone could see the oppresion black people face we could come under the banner of All Lives Matter without a problem - but people are blind ro racism. I would love to come together straight out of peace, acceptance, love and united we could stand.
Nelson Mandela said: "as I walked out the door towards my freedom, I knew that if I didn’t leave all the anger, hatred and bitterness behind that I would be still in prison”
Desmond Tutu said, "if your neutral in situations of injustice you have chosen the side of the oppressor”.
We say Black Lives Matter because we refuse to be silent and don’t want our necks to be buried up into a history of violence and brutality against people of colour. However, we can learn something from everyone who passes through our lives because when you identify with that part of you that is eternal, you see the true value of yourself and all others. If you treat yourself as priceless and respect everyone, the comparisons and divisions will disappear and be replaced by peace, knowledge and love of oneness.
Black Lives Matter movement is important because of course ALL lives matter, especially to the awesome maker of life itself. HOWEVER, when justice is blind to colour, when education is unaware of the impact of racism, until opportunity is unconcerned with colour of skin, liberation and the call of black lives matter will be a declaration.
“God says love your neighbour as you love yourself. The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who in it”
Here's some tips on how people can support equality initiatives for BME groups
- Stop racist police officers from being violence and cruel,
- raise awareness within the police force that BME lives matter
- support BME groups to get funding to increase their confidence in their organisations
- Speak up when reporting violence and hate crimes
- Help to tackle culture barriers, challenge your own prejudice and stereotypes
- Help education and support be more easily accessible to people of colour
- Help health care treatment and shelter be more easily accessible to people of colour