4 November 2021
Author: Alena Joyette and Paige Owusu
Paige Owusu: I feel pride in the bond that exists in our global community. When France won the World Cup in 2018, I felt an overwhelming sense of joy even though I had no connection to the country. Seeing second-generation Black immigrant men winning and succeeding in a country where they are deeply marginalised was empowering. I feel relief when I see other Black people in predominantly white offices because we have a shared experience of feeling like we do not belong. But Black is a support network, we show up as a community to consistently demand equality and justice, while inspiring each other.
I want to see Black history being taught in our education systems and to stop erasing Black British history. Without the Windrush generation rebuilding modern Britain, we wouldn’t be where we are today and that needs to be recognised. The spotlight should not be given to Black achievements just for one month a year because we contribute to everything all year round. I want to see more positive representation of Black people on tv that builds on the cultural shifts that Issa Rae started and challenges the incredibly problematic characteristics of aggression, laziness and law-breaking commonly associated with Black people by replacing them with successful ideals and role models such as Channel 4’s Highlife.
To achieve all of this, we need more Black leaders and decision-makers. Organisations cannot be diverse if people of the global majority consistently face barriers to promotion within a white-led leadership team. Measures must be put in place to ensure a truly level playing field so we can honour the legacy of Black leaders like Lavinya Stennett and Issa Rae.
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