In celebration of Black History Month, we asked students and lecturers at KU’s Penrhyn Road campus about their thoughts on the importance of this month.
“Black History Month is a celebration for our ancestors and their excellence, it’s a time to learn about our cultural, political and artistic achievements. There’s a lot of misconception that BHM began with slavery, so when you start with this then you’re starting with pain, and this isn’t right. We need to be more connected to our roots and successful predecessors which is something many of us have been deprived of.”Janet Osayande, postgraduate journalism student
“Even though I grew up inside a westernised household, my father still made sure that my siblings and I learnt about our roots. We have always been aware of our history and we’re proud. I want to follow in my parents footsteps and spread awareness. We need to talk about the injustices a lot of my people suffered. From the top of my head some of my greatest influences are Sojourner Truth, Jackie Robinson and Malcolm X. Trust me, you will thank me later.”Faraj, environmental student
“I’ll be honest, this means nothing to me. It is just a saying. We don’t need people to sympathise towards us. Learning about Black History Month isn’t going to change what happened in the past, we’re living in the present day where a lot of people are still experiencing a lot of injustice in the world. History is just repeating itself.”Charles Frempong, project manager
“Black history makes me proud. My identity is being celebrated this season, and it’s a time for me to reflect, but also allows myself to learn about my roots. Each year we are being acknowledged more and more, and anyone that says this month is pointless should think again. It allows us to tackle a lot of unconscious bias within this matter, and there is no excuse for anyone new to learn about our history. Everything is easily accessible and we live in the 21st century where there is no place for ignorance or racism.”Amira Ali, psychology student
“I’m happy that we celebrate this month, but it isn’t enough. If I’m honest I fortunately have never experienced any type of racism growing up, however I always look into the difficulties many people currently face, so it’s still an on going issue. Schools really need to step up and allow the future generation to not learn to hate.
Back in the day, during school we used to learn about different cultures. I remember one time as a kid we had to dress up in traditional clothes. This was so important for us to appreciate our culture because it was at that moment that we learnt to love.”Sylvia Addition, midwifery student
“I see what they’re trying to do. I believe it should not be a thing where Black people are glorified for one month. Is Black history only for one month and the next 11 months is white history month? It doesn’t really make sense.”Jerson Marquez, business student