“Our Black Excellence never stops, we have so many stories to share/ We fight many battles but we are the success”.
While we couldn’t all come together in person this Black History Month, we didn’t let that stop us from from reflecting, learning and celebrating together.
During the month of October Spotlight ran a mixed online and in-person programme focusing on education, collaboration and celebration. We wanted to collaborate across of service to educate our young people on great Black British heroes and celebrate Black history and culture in the UK.
Black History is our History and it is important to make it inclusive for all, not just Black people. Together we stood in solidarity to celebrate Black British history and we hope to continue this work not only in the month of October but in our general youth work.
Over Black History Month we ran programmes across our centres with a theme each week: Black Hair & Fashion, Black Athletes, Black Music & Film and Black Success. We were lucky enough to work with amazing partners and special guests including Poplar Works, Orlando Cutz, DigiBarber, Anthony Yarde and Joe Aribo.
Our virtual BHM Live Showcase, hosted by the talented presenter duo Aaron and Taku was the ultimate celebration of the Month which showcased all the work that took place during the month. The show ranged from featuring dance performances from Ezinne Asinugo and IMD Legion as well as music performances from Spotlight Young people, to “Chronicles of a Black Household”, where following from the BLM protests it was important to provide a platform for Black staff members and young people to talk about their experiences living in London as a black person. Themes that were mentioned from these interviews included experiences of racism, the BLM movement, lessons from parents, and the hope for the Black community.
Another highlight was the ‘What has Changed?’ piece, which looked at the relations between the black community and the police. We looked at a timeline of cases from Stephen Lawrence to Mark Duggan to our very own young people. This piece aimed to highlight the ongoing struggle of discrimination within the police force and wanting a need for change.
Watch the full performance below – and be prepared to laugh, cry and everything in-between.