We asked our staff what Black History Month means to them...
Ms Campbell-Joefield, Leeds West Academy
"Black History Month means a celebration of immigrants and the different cultures in the U.K. It's about the journey made by the Windrush Generation but also the struggles that many black and ethnic minorities continue to face today. Black History Month is about celebrating the contribution of black and ethnic minorities made by English History."
Miss Wallis, Leeds East Academy
"Black History Month is a time to share my history and culture with the world!"
Miss Zafar, Leeds East Academy
"Black History Month is a chance for us all to celebrate and share the rich heritage of various cultures, promoting understanding and diversity. It is a time where we not only celebrate the great work of those who came before us but also recognise what other black people in our present time have and are achieving."
Mr Akram, Leeds East Academy
"Black history month is a chance to celebrate and promote the achievements of the black community, promoting equality and removing racism."
Mr Petrie, Leeds East Academy
"For one month a year, we can acknowledge the fantastic contributions made by black British people. It is an opportunity to reflect on both the contributions and challenges faced by black British people throughout the past and in the present day."
Ms Morley, Leeds West Academy
"To me, Black History Month means celebration. It is a good opportunity for us as a country to be able to celebrate our shared history, culture and traditions. Black history is something that shaped my family history and I am incredibly proud to have a chance to celebrate that, not only in October but all year round.
"As a history teacher I feel even more of a duty to share that rich and diverse history of Britain with my students and colleagues and this time of year to build on the understanding that black history is black history."
Mr Wilkes, Leeds City Academy
"Black History Month is important to me because it is the time of the year where the rest of the world can find out about where we come from, because often we feel like we are forgotten about."
Miss Buchanan, Leeds East Academy
"Black History Month is an opportunity to showcase the amazing contributions of black people in our country. It is also a reminder that there is still work to be done, as Black History should be embedded in our every day teaching and Black culture celebrated as the norm on a daily basis; the struggle for true equality is not over as long as there's still need for one dedicated month of recognition out of twelve."
Mr Chandra, Leeds West Academy
"For me, Black history, South Asian history, and British history are heavily intertwined. My grandad moved his family from Bengal, India to Tanzania to work as a manager on the railroads that the British had set up there. There are now large numbers of Indians particularly in East Africa due to moving there under British colonial rule.
As someone from South Asian heritage, living in Kenya as a child, and my dad being born and raised in Tanzania; black history means a lot to me. Throughout my life, I have also had wonderful black female mentors, particularly in the church setting, who have encouraged me, challenged me and helped me grow in my musicality, confidence, and in my Christian faith. I am grateful for them investing in me and to help me grow into a compassionate young man. Often in my house, we will speak to each other in bits of Kiswahili, Punjabi, and English. Black history for me is not simply a narrative, but part of my life story."
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