What does Black History Month and the theme this year mean to you?
Black History Month to me means men and women of colour have equal say and choices to change the world, speak up, and make a difference.
The theme of this year ‘Actions, not Words’ I think of Rosa Parks, “the mother of the civil rights movement.”
Rosa Parks changed the struggle for racial equality when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery Alabama. Parks’ arrest on December 1 1955 launched the Montogomery Bus Boycott by 17,000 black citizens.
The theme this year highlights to me that there is a history that we acknowledge and learn from. We cannot move forward without action and working together to achieve shared goals of equality and equity.
What does Arts equality look like for you?
Youth Theatre at Spotlight helps me to express my stories out loud and it is amazing when I tell people my story. It shows emotions through courage, confidence, power and also sadness. But it makes me feel like people just want to understand what my life has been like and that I can be creative in space that’s given to all of us.
On equality and diversity. To me, it’s ensuring everyone in my setting has equal opportunities and choices regardless of their abilities, their background, or their lifestyle.
I believe in appreciating the differences between people and treating people’s values, beliefs, cultures and lifestyles with respect.
All of the things that make us who we are. It is a combination of our differences that shape our view of the world and approach.
I am also on Poplar HARCA’s Youth Empowerment Board. It’s an opportunity to create change, have my voice heard and ensure that the future of East London is shaped by us, young people. It’s been a great learning process for me to become a decision-maker and to hold decision-makers to account.
Being on YEB is also a fantastic opportunity to enhance my employability prospects, develop myself personally and professionally and work towards fulfilling my potential as an individual. I feel heard as a member of the team.
I would like to give shout-outs to the Spotlight youth workers and my family for caring and listening to me when I need advice. It’s amazing when life is short and there are people there for you to talk with because you’re never ever alone. They are there if you ever fall down one day.
Submission by MYWY, Spotlight young person.
Join Spotlight Youth Writers Club
Spotlight is your space to share your voice. Have you got something to say and want to have a go at writing? Each month we’ll explore a new theme. Expect real views on equality, mental health, arts and culture – you name it.
It’s about expression, your unique experience, and sharing your voice, stories, vision for the world, or poetry to inspire and uplift your peers and the community around you.
If you’ve got a thought bubble or a long take on a topic – now’s your chance to share it with the world.
You can come with a pen name and remain anonymous.
For more info and to get involved:
contact firstname.lastname@example.org / 07930 377 299