Teshan, from our Youth Advisory Board, talks about the significance of Black History Month and this year’s theme of health and well-being…
Black History Month (BHM) is the time of the year in which we as a society or community recognise the history of Black people and culture and the past events and monumental moments in time regarding this matter. It is also a wonderful way in which people remember the wonderful people in history, who brought/made significant changes regarding race and the treatment of Black people.
This year, in 2022, the theme of BHM is health and well-being. This is a very important and empowering theme, as it is not commonly discussed within the topic of BHM and race. It is rarely thought about how racism and discrimination impact the mental well-being of a person, as well as their health alone. However, even the tiniest stares or words can make anybody feel uncomfortable or self-conscious, so imagine if this was due to the colour of your skin.
Being Black is NOT a choice. It is in fact a privilege, however, it comes with extreme difficulties and challenges. Black people are commonly known to be severe victims of prejudice. In simple words, prejudice is to pre-judge somebody or make an assumption about them mainly based on his they look. They get stopped in the street, face severe accusations, get pulled over by the police, denied for job/employment roles and many other things which hold them back in society. It is also worth noting that this is happening ALL OVER THE WORLD, and it is causing great pain and causing mental health to rapidly deteriorate.
So what can we do to prevent this? Believe it or not, there are many things we could do, and BHM provides a perfect time and environment in which we do this. BHM is all about recognising the triumphs and victories of Black people throughout history, and the aspirations and inspirations that have been adopted through time. Mainly by the likes of Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X, Harriett Tubman, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou and many other heroic Black people who brought change in the attitudes of society.
However, despite this, there are still issues today that are still arising regarding race. Examples of these include the tragic killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Both innocent normal people living their daily lives, just to be viciously murdered, simply due to what they look like. Imagine the way their families felt hearing that their loved ones had been killed! That pain is severe agony that can not be recovered from. This is why health and well-being is an essential theme for this year’s BHM, as the effect of hostile actions towards Black people has a significant impact on mental health. So, please think about your actions and always be kind.