Who are the New Black History Makers? There is an important campaign to ensure we explore, celebrate and understand Black history, focussed especially on Black History Month. But who are the people of African or Caribbean heritage making history now?
The New Black History Makers
Who do you think the next generation of Black History Makers might be? Which people of African or Caribbean heritage alive and working today should be learnt about in years to come?
Who are you most inspired by? What are you most interested in – sport? music? politics? writing? business? acting? charity work? Perhaps there’s an area you want to go into when you are older, or that you follow closely now. Have a think about who in that area is really making a difference.
Malorie Blackman was Children’s Laureate from 2013-15 and wrote Noughts and Crosses, a fantastic book about race and racism and now a TV series too. Shaka Hislop was the goal keeper for Newcastle United when he set up Show Racism the Red Card, the UK’s largest anti-racism educational charity after his own experiences with receiving racist abuse. Diane Abbott made history by becoming the first black woman ever elected to the British Parliament. Michael Ebenazer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr – better known as Stormzy – is a talented rapper who has used his platform to raise issues around knife crime, structural racism within the criminal justice system and more.
Research one of these people, or find your own new black history maker to find out about and celebrate.
We live in a racist society, this means that black people experience racism all the time. For those in the public eye this can be amplified and they can receive really horrible abuse. Unlike their white peers people often tell them they aren’t good enough and that they should give up and stop doing what they are doing.
How wonderful would it be to turn this around. Let’s tell the new black history makers why they are important, why their voices and their actions matter, why they should keep on doing what they are doing.
Postcards for the Future
Firstly, write a letter or postcard to someone who has inspired you, or whose work you admire. Let them know why you think they are brilliant. Tell them why you value them and why they are important to them. Or if you could draw them a picture, make them a cartoon strip or create a zine.
Secondly find out how to contact them. MPs can be sent things to the Houses of Parliament. Musicians and actors can be contacted via their agent (details available online). Writers can be sent things via their publisher. For those working in business or for a charity yo can write to their organisation.
Social media can be a great way to connect with people too. If you or a parent or friend has twitter or instagram you can tag in the person you are writing to and include a photo of your postcard. Don’t forget to tag in @woodcraftfolk and #DreamBigAtHome too so we can help amplify your message.
Take it Further
If you enjoyed exploring the black history makers of the past and present, you could make a set of Top Trumps to celebrate their achievements as you play with friends and family.