How The Independent is celebrating Black History Month

The Independent will celebrate the achievements of Black Britons throughout October, while shining a spotlight on work that remains to be done

Matt Mathers
Sunday 02 October 2022 09:49 BST
The UK is celebrating Black History Month this October
The UK is celebrating Black History Month this October (Getty)

This month the UK is marking Black History Month, an annual celebration of Black history, heritage and culture.

Over the next four weeks, The Independent will be recognising the achievements of Black Britons and supporting individuals and organisations dedicated to bringing about lasting change, while also shining the spotlight on the work that remains to be done.

The Independent will seek to amplify the voice of changemakers, in keeping with this year's theme: ‘Time for change: action, not words.’

In the editorial department, Nadine White, the UK’s first dedicated race correspondent, will lead and commission a series of features focused on education, politics and the Black press in Britain.

Meanwhile, The Independent’s opinion section, Voices, will cover Black perspectives and experiences throughout the month. Led by Commissioning Editor, Harriet Williamson, this will include pieces by Diane Abbott MP, presenter Ayo Akinwolere, editor of Black British Lives Matter Marcus Ryder MBE, footballer Danny Welbeck and Loose Women’s Kéllé Bryan.

Music coverage led by Roisin O’Connor, The Independent’s music and culture news editor, will include an exclusive interview with singer Kwabs and rapper Hardy Caprio about their experiences in the industry.

Meanwhile, Jumi Akinfenwa’s piece on new Amazon Prime Video series Jungle includes interviews with its producers, actors and featured artists about its use of grime and drill.

“Black History Month is an important annual space to celebrate, promote and reflect upon Black experiences in the UK, past and present,” Ms White said as the annual celebration got underway on 1 October.

“From an editorial perspective, we will be publishing articles that not only highlight Black achievement but also examine the work that must yet be done to address racial disparities faced by these communities around the nation.”

She added: “In the wake of Black Lives Matter demonstrations that brought the world to a standstill less than two years ago, keeping conversations around these issues remains a key priority at The Independent.

“We’re looking forward to unveiling important initiatives across October that will unlock opportunities around Black communities, inform and inspire.”

Voices will cover Black perspectives and experiences throughout the month, including pieces by Labour MP Diane Abbott
Voices will cover Black perspectives and experiences throughout the month, including pieces by Labour MP Diane Abbott (PA)

The Independent will also be giving free advertising campaigns to Black organisations across a range of sectors from civil rights to music, including Mission 44 - a charitable foundation launched by Sir Lewis Hamilton which helps transform the lives of young people facing disadvantage and discrimination.

Other organisations include Black Lives in Music, UK Black Comms Network, Black Business Network, Black Equity Organisation and Black Pound Day.

Kamiqua Lake, founder and CEO UK Black Comms Network and Coldr, said: "We established the UK Black Comms Network to shine a light on the Black talent within our industry and increase the number and seniority of Black communication professionals.

"We are really excited to be a part of The Independent’s campaign which, like our network, seeks to identify and support talent within our community.”

Black History Month began in the UK in 1987 and was founded to raise awareness of anti-Black racism and empower people to end it, and to celebrate the contributions of British people with African and Caribbean heritage in the UK.

This year’s Black History Month, organisers say, is more important than ever. It’s not just a month to celebrate the continued achievements and contributions of Black people to the UK and around the world. It’s also a time for continued action to tackle racism, reclaim Black history, and ensure Black history is represented and celebrated all year round.

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