What's the purpose? What's the benefit and do we actually need a Black History Month?
When I was much younger, I found myself musing over these questions. I suppose with me, although born in England I was raised in Nigeria so issues of racial pride and identity were not that significant to me. However, now that I have been back to live in England for well over 20 years and have children of my own, asking such questions have become more meaningful and purposeful. I love being British and I also love being African. I love being British but I also embrace my Nigerian identity. The fusion of my Britishness and my African roots make me who I am today and I am truly proud of it.
Personally speaking, I see myself as a cultural mix. I wouldn't throw away my African roots and I certainly wouldn't do away with my Britishness. Why? I love eating a full English breakfast and I love eating my jollof rice, with chicken and fried plantain. I love having a cup of tea but I also love my Ogbono stew with Eba. I love listening to pop music but also, I love dancing to my African beats.
As such, I have come to view Black History Month as a time to raise the self-worth and racial pride of the African Caribbean people. As a people, we must embrace all of the experiences that have shaped us. When I think of the black race words such as resilience, fortitude, patience, colourful, joyful, vibrant, creative and so much come to my mind. Indeed, I'm Black British and I'm proud of it and truth be told, 'Black is beautiful'!
These are my thoughts about Black History Month and the beauty of being black and British.
Radiance and Love,