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COOKIES & PRIVACY POLICY

Putting the Pride in Black History Month

Black History Month too often forgets the achievements of LGBT people of colour, says Chloe Cousins.

Chloe Cousins

Tue, 13 Oct 2015 14:11:13 GMT | Updated 1 years today

In celebrations for Black History Month, the achievements and identities of LGBT Black people are often erased, dismissed or forgotten.

 

Too often people dismiss the importance of acknowledging people's multi-faceted identities. Maybe such people don't know what it is like to grow up and not learn about people like you, or to never see yourself reflected in the media or history books and the sense of isolation and self-doubt that flows from that.

 

Black History Month is about celebrating ALL Black people. 

 

Representation matters - especially when Black people have been and are still often erased from the mainstream. Not talking about the different intersections of people's lives obscures histories. For example, how many people know that Martin Luther King's right hand man, who taught him about non-violent protest and who organised the march at which he performed his 'I Have a Dream' speech, was Bayard Rustin - a Black gay man? We cannot allow people to remain ignorant to our history and thus dismiss our present.

Linda Bellos was one of the people who worked to introduce Black History Month into the UK and one of the first Black lesbian women to become an elected council leader. Justin Fashanu was the first Black million pound footballer, and was the first (and only) professional league football player to come out publicly. Young people have little knowledge of eminent Black LGBT people such as Linda and Justin and this is what drove us to create our resource pack.

 

This easy to use education pack helps explore the intersections between different minority groups. Throughout the pack you will come across and learn about a diverse group of Black LGBT people, past and present, from a range of backgrounds and professions. The pack is made up of a series of bitesize activities that can be used during youth groups, classroom lessons or tutor times, each carefully designed to enable you to facilitate a great discussion.

 

As well as the need to celebrate Black LGBT people throughout history and the present day, we created the pack to encourage people of all ages to learn and think more about intersections of identities and how they affect life and experiences. The pack weaves Black LGBT people from all over the world into exercises designed to help people to explore themes of identity, race, sexuality, being an ally, protest, activism and reflections on what we can do to be better, more understanding family members, friends and citizens. 

 

The resource forms part of a wider body of work with BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) young people in Manchester. The Proud Trust recognises the need for space where intersections of race and sexuality/gender identity can be discussed, explored and affirmed. Back in July, The Proud Trust also launched Fusion - a group for Black and Asian LGBT young people that allows young people to meet, socialise, grow and celebrate their identities together. Find out more at theproudtrust.org


Chloe Cousins is a resource designer and youth worker at The Proud Trust. 

 

@theproudtrust

 

More like this

 

Celebrating our Black LGBT icons

 

Black History Month: Bhav's story

 

Interview: Linda Bellos OBE

 

Image: The Proud Trust

 

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