Black History Month matters and can make a difference
OCTOBER is Black History Month in the UK, at City Hall London we have focussed on the theme of the immeasurable contribution that black women have made to our capital as part of the Mayor’s Behind Every Great City campaign.
Throughout history black women have faced the double oppression of gender and racial bias. Sadly many are still routinely subject to this burning injustice today. Further still, the presence and influence of black women in our society is all too often either overlooked or forced out of our historical narratives.
Where would we be without the heavy lifting carried out by the Women and daughters of the Windrush generation, on London Transport, in every area of the health services, in the sweatshops of 1950s and 1960s east London, and in the cleaning and hospitality sectors?
In London and across the UK we have also seen the disgraceful treatment of the Windrush generation under the government’s “hostile environment” policy. This goes against our core values as Londoners, who have built this city upon the contributions of people from around the world.
This is why proudly celebrating Black History Month each year is so vitally important. As it is essential that we recognise the achievements of our inspirational role models, and help to pave the way for the leaders of tomorrow.
JENNETTE ARNOLD OBE AM
Labour London Assembly Member for North East
Deputy Chair of the London Assembly.