Breaking free

From Black culture crisis to liberating action

Thomas L Blair © updated 03 November 2015

footer-1Not many really appreciate that the moral basis for celebrating Black History Month – “the freedom struggle” — has lost its prime position.

However, the relentless media portrayal of “problem blacks”, the blame the victim official reports, biased statistics, the uncaring policy makers and the heavy blows of prejudice in public affairs, is forcing a rethink.

Therefore, consider this
If you don’t know much about the abolition of colonial slavery, and fiercely fought independence movements and the blood, sweat and fears of post-war migrants, how can you comprehend the reasons Black Britons strive to overcome their discontents today?

It’s like, what are the issues here?
If, in fact, you don’t know why founder Ms Adkyaaba Addai Sebbo placed pride and African culture at the heart of Black History Month in Britain, if you’re not paying attention to how C L R James, George Padmore and Claudia Jones promoted anti-racist movements and alliances, if you do not know how Bernie Grant MP and Lord Pitt, pathfinders from the Caribbean,  set the markers for grassroots activism and legal reform, , or why jazz man “Hutch” wowed audiences in vast variety halls, then how can you debate the future of Blacks in society, economy and politics in the perilous 21st century?

The way forward
Breaking Free —  From Black Culture Crisis to Liberating Action  advocates seven tasks to reshape perspectives on Black History Month. So it isn’t set apart from the issues and debates that we’re having today.

The first task is to study and and act on the key issues shaping the crisis of Black culture. Secondly, to ensure communities lead with game changing initiatives for progress.

The third task follows: to involve academics, professionals and policy makers in funded problem solution projects. The fourth requires creating danger limiting and opportunity enhancing strategies.

The fifth task involves connecting with social media technologies that empower dispirited youth. The sixth task falls to scholars and cultural activists to challenge negrophobic histories about Black peoples.

Seventh, in conclusion, the awareness of unexpected strengths created will have long lasting effects. It will birth a new generation of champions for Black History, organising to meet the incessant demands of the 21st century.

Thomas L Blair, PhD, FRSA writes on the creative renewal of Black people in urban society. He publishes the Editions Blair series and edits the pioneering Black Experience web sites archived in the Social Welfare Portal of the British Library