Written by Precious Zumbika-Lwanga, Partner – Queensbury, Founder & MD- Perspectif Ltd
As I reflect on the past month of Black history celebrations, I must admit that this year it has had even more meaning to me. The events that have unfolded during the pandemic, have been bubbling away under the surface for many years.
George Floyd’s death was the turning point, but actually was it really? Or were we paying more attention because what was captured was so graphic, so detailed, so real and all during the first lockdown when everyone was glued to the television listening to the latest updates which meant we had to stop to watch and listen to a man dying at the hands of the same police force that should have been protecting him. I will not dwell on that any longer than I have to, but what has happened since has been phenomenal!
The death of George Floyd was certainly not in vain. The global uproar, the #BLM movement and our homegrown #IAM movement has brought to the forefront the celebration of black and ethnic minority lives and history. This has revealed the much-needed work in our Great Britain to make it a diverse and inclusive nation.
This Black History Month has been a reflective one for me. I have revisited why Black History Month came to be, I have re-read the achievements and contributions of our black and ethnic minority forefathers nationally and globally. The list of these amazing men and women is endless with countless unsung heroes and heroines.
On a more personal level, I have had interesting conversations with friends and colleagues giving them my perspective of black and African history. I have felt comfortable sharing some of the stories I heard first-hand from my grandparents and parents about colonialism and apartheid in Zimbabwe and South Africa. This Black History Month touched a nerve, it made me proud to be a British-Zimbabwean. To realise that history has two sides, the oppressor and the oppressed, and that it is ever more important to enlighten our peers on the other side of the coin. In addition, that we should proudly recognise and celebrate the contribution of blacks and ethnic minorities into making Britain great!
Did you know that ethnic minority businesses contribute over £25 billion to the UK economy annually! Let’s not forget the contribution to our health services, transport and infrastructure, the list is endless. Let us not only dedicate a month to celebrate Black History. History should be celebrated every day. To know where we are going we need to remember where we came from.
Partner – Queensbury, Founder & MD- Perspectif Ltd