We all know about the slave trade, colonisation and Martin Luther King… but how is that relevant to us in this day and age? Being able to debate and discuss racial topics remind us how relevant and relatable race relations are to this day. This is why the debate that we held on the 19th of October was so crucial for growth and knowledge: not only for black students but all students alike.
The importance of debate is not to attack or dismiss a topic but to challenge and hopefully educate everyone in the room on things that perhaps were unclear. I found that during our debate this was the case and more people left more informed than they came. During this debate we touched upon topics such as ‘whether some police officers are racist or just prejudiced’, and whether the ‘Black Lives Matter Campaign should be exclusively run by black people or whether it should be open to help’. However, we began to deviate and started to speak about hair within the black community and the use of the ‘N’ word. On speaking about so many different topics in regards to black lives, it became evident that we as a group of people need more relevant discussions like we had!
If we continue to only focus on the origins of racial prejudice, we create a distance from it and therefore feel it isn’t as important now as it was then.
As a black female myself I feel that Black history month is a time of culture, exploration and great fun! But it can only be that way if we recognise what we are actually celebrating and create more movements to give our future generations something more to celebrate!
Happy Black History Month
- Joanna Briggs