What does Black history month mean to me?
Have you ever faced prejudice?
Have you ever been treated distinctively compared to how the same person treated others?
Have you ever been treated unfavourably, and you knew, deep down, that it was just because you happen to have a different skin colour to everyone else?
Because that is my reality.
I am mixed race.
I am half Black (Ivorian) and half White (English).
Black history month for me is an interesting one.
I feel conflicted about how I should feel.
I am Black and so consequently, I have experiences that are vastly different to a ‘typical White person’.
But I am also only half Black, which means that I experience privileges that come from having lighter skin.
The confusion comes, because, when it really comes down to it, when it really comes down to ‘picking a side’, one ‘side’ usually wins.
The Black side.
Because whether I like it or not, the first thing people see when they look at me is not that I am half White, but that I am half Black.
But I am both.
Why is it relevant?
Black history month is relevant because Black people are.
Every month for Black and ethnic minorities is ‘Black history month’. We don’t get to ‘stop caring’ and revert to ‘normal White people months’ once October is over. We are still Black, and we are still treated differently because of it.
I don’t think I need to tell you about all the trauma and struggles Black and ethnic minorities have faced because this should be quite obvious as of 2022.
I will tell you, to be open and honest and talk about what we can do to change this narrative.
No matter what the colour of your skin is.