We've just come to the end of Black History Month 2016. Here, your DP Education Augustus Mbanasor shares his thoughts on why he feels it's important.
Black History Season is a time to celebrate all the achievements and successes that black (African/Caribbean) people have achieved throughout history. It is a season to recognise that black people have contributed massively in positive ways to influence westernised culture. It is a season to appreciate the efforts and struggles that our black ancestors have faced many years ago.
Black History Season means everything to me. It helps me identify those who have really put their lives on the line to change the way black people are treated in society it also gives me an opportunity to celebrate their achievements.
I believe that is it important for students to recognise and embrace black leaders. From a very young age we are taught that most inventions and those who have influenced culture and society are just ‘white’ people and as people we are not educated to challenge what we have been taught. Black people have faced and have experience very extreme forms of structural oppression within society and there have been many ways that black history have been covered for political reasons. There will always be a need for black liberation, hence why Black History Season is necessary.
I was part of the Black History Month Task and Finish Group to help organise the launch event for Black History Month. At the launch event, De Montfort Students' Union (DSU) held a BAME Leadership talk which allowed me to speak on my experiences on how I became a black leader, representing all students within De Montfort University (DMU) and the obstacles and barriers I came across in the process.
This year I have decided to do things a little differently. I will be leading on organising BAME Leadership and empowerment events where I am looking to bring few high profile individuals to the university. We are in the working stages at the moment but we are really excited and looking forward to this. We plan for them to happen in January/February in hope to inspire and motivate more BAME students to run in the DSU Elections to #LeadYourDSU. Who said that Black History should only be celebrated in October? Let’s challenge the status quo and celebrate it throughout the year!
Click here to hear from International Students' Representative Vivian on why she feels Black History Month is important.