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Why Black History Month is more important than ever before

15.10.2020

NextGen committee member and Surveyor for Knight Frank, Paul Modu, reflects on what has been an unprecedented year for race matters.

October marks the month of Black History Month, an annual celebration of the contributions and achievements of people of African and Caribbean heritage to UK culture and history. This traces back to 1987 in the UK, by Akyaaba Addai-Sebo, who aimed to create an enabling cultural space in the UK celebratory calendar and educate people on the impact Black people have played in shaping UK history.

33 years on, this year's celebration is arguably the most important. Following the murder of George Floyd in the US by law enforcement and the recent findings from the ONS which suggest that black people are disproportionately affected by Covid-19, there is much to do in addressing racism and inequalities in our society.

However, this year feels different. The rise of #blacklivesmatter, in spite of the peculiar circumstances we find ourselves in - from rising Covid-19 cases and deaths to coping under strict lockdown measures - has brought about a newfound impetus to drive change, the type of change we hope is long lasting.

It is important that this continues, and that we all seek refuge in educating ourselves on black history as a response to what has been an unprecedented year for race matters. For a celebration of Black History in the UK, is a celebration of UK history!

Paul Modu
Surveyor, Knight Frank & Real Estate Balance NextGen Committee member