Black History Month: A chance to highlight the impact and achievements of Black people around the world


Tuesday, 24 October

By ICC Staff


“Black History Month is not just a chance to reflect on the effects of racism and social injustice against Black communities throughout history, but a real opportunity to highlight the incredible impact so many Black people have had on British society and across the world,” writes Richard Yeboah, senior consultant at ICC. “The Black political and social activists and educators all deserve remembrance throughout October for their role in fighting for Black rights and equality, but so do all the Black communities and the allies who have played an integral role in shaping multicultural Britain.”

“Black History Month also allows me to reflect on the influential Black people in my life who have shaped me, my beliefs, and my identity. One of the most influential people in my life is Nelson Mandela. His perseverance and determination to fight Apartheid in South Africa and bring forward racial reconciliation, even after 27 years in prison, will always teach me to fight adversity in my ambitions to bring fairness and equality to society. I remind myself of his quote: ‘What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived it. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others.’”

“Being Black is a badge of honour, but it is not the only thing that defines me. We should all be proud to express the multiplicity of our identities, and become the greatest version of ourselves.”

“This Black History Month I’m thinking about Michaela Coel, who did what many Black women have been told not to do: She pushed back, she spoke up and she said no,” writes Siobhan Haines, ICC HR advisor. “Rather than compromise her value and beliefs, the screenwriter and actress famously walked away from a £1m Netflix deal when she was denied the ability to retain any percentage of the copyright to her work.”

“Black History Month is a time for appreciation of the accomplishments of Black diaspora – both the struggles and the achievements of the past and present which are shaping society and as a race. We are voices to be heard and recognised. I am proud to be able to show my children the diverse culture they stem from and for the world to no longer see them as a minority fighting to be acknowledged and have a place in society.”

“Coel is a hero because she fights for diversity and representation both on and off the screen. She is someone who speaks the truth boldly while avoiding hurting others, who stands up to racism and inequality, who advocates for those who are marginalised and amplifies their voices.”

“Representation is key to fairness and respect for all. As U.S. showrunner and screenwriter extraordinaire Shonda Rimes put it: ‘The goal is that everyone should get to turn on the TV and see someone who looks like them and loves like them. And just as important, everyone should turn on the TV and see someone who doesn’t look like them and love like them.’”

Diana Kalungi, business operations manager at ICC, writes: “When I was young, Black History Month started to fill in some of the missing gaps in British history that I was never taught in school. But Black History Month is part of a much bigger movement that has had and will continue to have many role models. I learn about and celebrate the contributions of my ancestors every day of the year.”

“My role models are many because they are all the people who have opened doors for my generation that they themselves never had the chance to walk through. A quote that I remember in particular this Black History Month is from writer and civil rights activist Maya Angelou: ‘Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.’”

For more on Black History Month, don’t miss this article from ICC Senior Consultant Cheryl Bannerman.

Siobhan Haines Inner Circle Consulting