#BlackHistoryMonth – Black Icons, are they changing?

Pictured on the cover image: Harry Belafonte, Jessie Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, author Angie Thomas, Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy, Bobbie Gee

As history and historians change from generation to generation, so will Black History Month.  

I’ll forever uphold Barack and Michelle Obama current living historians and memories for me will live on in my mind when it comes to Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, and even the beautiful Diahann Carroll who went to be with the angels on Friday amongst many others. 

This month represents so much more…

Usually, Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate prominent Black people who have inspired and overcome. I believe that Black History Month needs to be more than the history of the black experience. It is the history of race relationships in the UK, which started well before WWII. It’s a complicated history spread across three continents.

It’s beautiful, it’s difficult, and it’s so worthy of our time and attention.

I feel honoured and blessed to have connected through work with black musical geniuses who will go down in history

Smokey and Berry Gordy

Natalie Cole

And having met authors and TV personalities who have stood the test of time:

Oprah, Rudolph Walker, “Cookie”, and author Dorothy Koomson  

Rudolph Walker

My daughters will have a different set of icons they look up to.  Looking at some of the younger generation like Stormzy and Lethal Bizzle – those who are now upheld as heroes are different generationally.

On a music tip you can’t ignore grime artist Stomzy and how much he has closed the gap and has created an audience who envelope him – not his colour – him, and so a whole new generation has been socially exposed to black culture, the same can be said of Kendrick Lamar in the USA and also Jay Z….. which rap artist can you think of who donates millions (sometimes silently) to support many causes and also had the direct of the then President of the United States on speed dial? . These music makers are embracing this conversation and leading the way for the rest of us to continue the conversation.

My daughters Morggan and Kamarane – the next generation… 

I find myself constantly wondering what these two young ladies are going to contribute to the world. Will the parenting they have received be enough for them for make the decisions on how they are going to contribute to and change the world? I would certainly like to believe so. We can only do our best with our children, just as the mothers of the black people in this feature had parents who did their best.

Our daughters and sons will be one day teaching their daughters or sons about #BlackHistoryMonth. I hope whatever my daughters contribute to the world, they grow up to be content, well rounded, and passionate women in whatever field they choose.

I’m sure in years to come there’ll be more changes, so whether through entertainment, theatre, song, sport or literature, let’s keep Black History Month alive

What black icons have inspired you? Made you grow? Made your heart swell or helped you change? Would love to hear all about it in the comments or on Facebook  Twitter and Instagram. Let’s talk about it!