Black History Month: A Time to Discover our History

Black History Month is a time for us to discover and explore our histories, to examine and reflect on what life is like now, and to build hopes and dreams for a brighter future.

It’s a time to discover and honour people who fought for and laid the foundations for the rights and freedoms we are entitled to today, to be inspired by those who have gone before, raising our aspirations for the people we would like to be.

 

However ,for Black lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people, Black History Month has for too long been a time during which we have been left behind, with our histories untouched. The Black community knows too well the argument that we are not all the same, that we are, in fact, a people of many colours, faiths, beliefs, cultures, and

LGBT Black History Month youth work resource
LGBT Black History Month youth work resource

yet so rarely do we highlight intersections of our identities when it comes to sexuality and gender identity, nor do we celebrate the lives of, and achievements made by, Black LGBT people.

This year I am determined to inspire people to look deeper into Black history. In creating the LGBT Black History Month youth work resource, my hope is that people will be inspired by the lives and work of Black LGBT people and allies featured in the pack and to venture off into discovery, uncovering contributions past and present from Black LGBT communities to our country and our world.

Our histories are vast and rich: from pre-colonial notions of gender and social structures, same-gender loving relationships and families, to our LGBT siblings fighting for our rights and our lives. People like Marsha P. Johnson who was instrumental in the LGBT liberation movement and Bayard Rustin without who momentous events in the Civil Rights Movement would not have occurred. Let us honour our siblings from the UK too: Linda Bellos who was one of a small team who introduced Black History Month here, Barbara Burford, Lord Waheed Ali, Justin Fashanu, Pratibha Parmar and Ted Brown, to name but a few whose names should be as known to us as Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks.
Black LGBT people have existed since the dawn of time. We would not be here without them. Let this not be forgotten.

Chloe Cousins
Youth worker, LGBT Youth North West

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