Black History Month October 2020


Black History Month October 2020

When Streams asked me to list my top 5 inspirational Black women for Black History Month, I was excited to get going. Having ended up with a list much longer than 5, which was the same for my friends when I asked them to share theirs, (Michaela Coel had a lot of mentions and she was on my extended list!), it got me thinking about how fortunate my friends and I are to be aware of so many incredible Black women.

The importance of Black History Month this year has been amplified. It’s been a hard year for everyone, but arguably harder for Black women. I have always shared content in October on @lifeadmin’s digital platforms, and this year I paid particular attention to Black women. We have received comments and messages from people who have really valued learning something new and those who have been happy to see stories that they are aware of being amplified.

All of the women on my top 5 list have done the same, shared stories to gain awareness of important issues or shared stories to amplify voices, and these are the main reasons why I have been inspired by them.

 

 

Maya Angelou - I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

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With an extremely traumatic start to life, Maya Angelou went on to inspire a generation with her poetry and words of wisdom. To this day, her quotes are used far and wide for motivation and to lift people's spirits. Her voice has transcended through the years and will continue to do so for many to come.
 

 

Baroness Doreen Lawrence - I could have shut myself away, but that is not me”

Baroness Doreen Lawrence

 
When Steven Lawrence was brutally murdered, his parents would have been forgiven if they had given up. Baroness Doreen Lawrence is made of stronger stuff. She is still fighting for not only justice in Steven’s case, but she continues to tackle inequality in all forms for young people from isadvantaged backgrounds.
 

 

Beverley De-Gale OBE - Following Daniel De-Gale’s passing the ultimate aim of ACLT is that others should not have to wait for this length of time for lifesaving matches to be found. Donors should be found and readily available and willing to save a life sooner rather than later."

Beverley De-Gale OBE

 
Daniel was the first black person in the UK to receive a stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor. When Daniel first became sick, he had a 1 in 250,000 chance of finding a donor because of his ethnicity. Due to all the hard work from the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT), which his parents founded, they have taken the UK stem cell register from 550 black individuals to a massive 150,000 individuals of all ethnicities.
 

 

Olive Morris - My heart will always be in Brixton”

Olive Morris

 
Olive was a Jamaican-born British-based community leader and activist in the feminist, Black nationalist, and squatters' rights campaigns of the 1970s. A key organiser in the Black Women's Movement in the United Kingdom, she co-founded the Organisation of Women of African and Asian Descent in London and support groups in Manchester.

When on holiday in Spain in 1978, she started to feel unwell. When she got back to London, she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a rare type of cancer that affects young people. She underwent treatment, which was unsuccessful and died at the young age of 27 in July 1979. How inspiring to have achieved so much in such a short life.
 

 

Malorie Blackman OBE - Books allow you to see the world through the eyes of others.”

Malorie Blackman OBE

 
I love reading and when I was younger used to always carry a bag of books around with me. When others were busy playing tag, I would skip that to immerse myself in stories of others and worlds different to my own. I believe that my love of reading taught me a great deal growing up. And Malorie’s books were very influential in my growth. Pig Heart Boy was my introduction to her work and the main lesson I took from this book was empathy, which is so important in everyday life. If you haven’t read it, you should.

 

 

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