Each year it is an opportunity to acknowledge the central role that black people have played in transforming the social, political and economic landscape of our country.
The contributions of black Britons are rich and varied, yet for too long we have ignored the legacy of black pioneers and accepted a narrative that confines the history of black people to that of slaves and colonial subjects. This is not good enough.
Worse still, when we do celebrate black Britons, the contributions of black women are massively diminished. Yet, despite having to contend with both racial and gender oppression black women continue to drive social, political and cultural change. This year let us celebrate the women of the past, such as Olive Morris, a feminist who dedicated her life to equality and activism. The women of the present, like Olivette Otele, who in 2018 became the UK’s first black female history professor. And let us empower the next generation of activists and trailblazers and do all we can to ensure that their achievements will never be absent from the history books.
The Liberal Democrats will never be silent or indifferent in the face of discrimination. It is our goal to fight for a country where every person, regardless of their background, is able to live freely and fulfil their potential without fear of hate or prejudice. That’s the world we strive for and that’s the world we must work every day to make possible.
Finally, I want to thank everyone involved in organising this year’s Black History Month celebrations and I wish you all an enjoyable and engaging month ahead.