October 1 marks the start of Black History Month. It was first celebrated in London in 1987 and aims to shine a spotlight on the achievements, lives and contributions of Black people that are all too often hidden and neglected.
Each year there is a different focus and this year it is 'Saluting Our Sisters', celebrating the exceptional achievements of black women.
Events are taking place all around the UK. To to find out more about what is happening in your area visit blackhistorymonth.org.uk
Black people are often given the double burden of experiencing racism and discrimination, and then being expected to fix it. As well as celebrating Black history, we must be active allies to our friends, colleagues and neighbours who continue to experience discrimination because of the colour of their skin.
The Black Lives Matter protests and unequal impact of the Coronavirus pandemic exposed the true extent of racial inequality in the UK, and put the fight for racial justice back onto the political agenda.
Race hate crimes continue to make up three quarters of all reported hate crimes in the UK. Over the last few years there has been a spike in racist attacks and far-right activity across the UK. In fact the police recently said the far-right is the fastest-growing terrorist threat in the UK.
The rise of populist leaders has also emboldened racists not just in the UK, but across Europe. Far-right activists have been mobilising in our streets and online, often seeking recruits in communities which have suffered years of neglect and under-funding.
But they do not represent working people in Britain.
Racism undermines the solidarity we work so hard to create. We have a duty and responsibility to be actively anti-racist and to call it out wherever we see or hear it. Together we can make a change for the better.
Usdaw Reps have always been at the forefront of the struggle against intolerance, challenge prejudice and standing up for those at the sharp end.
Usdaw is marking Black History month by standing ‘Together Against Hate
’ in solidarity with all members who experience racism to say ‘Not in my name, not in my workplace, not in my community’.