Black History Month 2020
It feels both a moment and a lifetime ago that Black Lives Matter protests sparked a worldwide response following the inhuman murder of George Floyd by police in the United States. And now here we are. Trying to understand each other, educate ourselves, advocate, protest safely, be effective allies, and vent our grief and rage at a system that is designed to oppress and disenfranchise. It is Black History Month in the UK.
We stand in solidarity with our Black colleagues, fellow citizens, writers, readers, friends, families, and stand in protest against state-sanctioned violence and minimisation of this reality. We hope to use our voices, however far they may reach, to join the fight against racism. In an effort to better ourselves, and by extension our communities, we endeavour to continuously self-educate. Our dedication and energy to this cause is not only a moral imperative but also what this moment in history demands of us.
Below is a compilation of links to resources we have found to be useful and inspiring. We’ve included a range of podcasts to listen to, activists to follow and artists to know. In a following article we will be suggesting our favourite black women-owned businesses to support, from beauty to lifestyle.
About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge
She authored 'Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race' (which we loved & highly recommend - also available on audiobook). The pod is a mix of interviews with activists, presenters, politicians, musicians on how our recent history has resulted in the politics we see now.
Hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw, an American civil rights advocate and a leading scholar of critical race theory.
The Echo Chamber
Issues which resonate among black British people speaking from the perspective of black, working-class women.
Columnist and broadcaster who wrote 'Brit(ish)', a Sunday Times bestseller about race and identity in the UK.
“This is not ‘a crisis’, what black people are experiencing the world over is a system that finds our bodies expendable, by design. So when the British government says de-escalate, we say dismantle.”
- Afua Hirsch
Layla F. Saad
Black British Artists to Know
Painter and activist Himid was one of the first artists involved in the UK's Black Art movement in the 1980s. In 2010 she was appointed MBE for "services to Black Women's Art", she won the Turner Prize in 2017 and was made a CBE in the 2018 Queen's Birthday Honours "for services to art."
She's described as being "one of the most accomplished figurative artists working in Britain today" by Modern Art Oxford. Claudette Johnson’s studies of black men and women demand attention and command respect.
Ifeoma U. Anyaeji
Anyaeji's distinctive sculptures and installations made from discarded bottles and non-biodegradable plastic bags are both relevent and impactful.
We hope you can continue the conversation with your families and communities, share your recommendations and treat each other as equals and with respect.
Keep an eye out for our next instalment in honour of Black History Month highlighting some incredible black-owned lifestyle businesses to support.