A Celebration of Black History Month

My favourite subject at school was history.

Even though I hated having to learn all the dates, I loved the stories of the political powerplays, struggles and good winning over evil.

So inspired by Black History Month this month I went out and started learning more about the History of Black People in the US and UK.

I feel this is so important because the biases I have, my expectations of my interactions with Black People are informed by how they are depicted on screen, in the news and the positions they hold.

And my old friend confirmation bias doesn’t help things either.

It doesn’t like looking for evidence to the contrary so I’m doing the work and doing it myself.

I’m Watching

  • Amend: The Fight for America on Netflix – hosted by Will Smith this series tells the story of the fight for equal rights in America promised under the 14th Amendment. It was really interesting to learn that the civil rights movement was the precursor to successful movements to get women the vote, the right to abortion, and same sex marriage. I’ve also gotta wonder how the tide of Civil Rights might have been different if Lincoln and Kennedy hadn’t been assassinated.
  • They Gotta Have Us on Netflix plots the history of Black People in the Film Industry. I now think Steven Spielberg is the Tom Hanks of the directing world and hearing Robert Townsend’s account of him and Eddy Murphy negotiating the profanity in Raw to get it from xxx rated to just x is hilarious.

I’m Listening To

  • Human Resources on Apple Podcasts that traces the story of Britain’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade and how it touches every part of the nation. Shocking facts I learnt, the Welsh were major producers of cloth that clothed slaves, Isaac Newton et al benefitted from the slave trade by using the shipping routes to collect data for their discoveries, even pubs have a role to play.
  • Have you Heard George’s Podcast – If not go there now and have a listen. It’s a perspective on inner city London life  that is mesmerising. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I get angry, sometimes I cry and always I learn something.
I also learn a lot my following diverse voices like:
  • @DiversityDana – Full disclosure, Dana is a friend of mine and she posts awesome stuff on Insta explaining awareness days, cultural festivals and this month she is killing it  with sharing her #proudtobe Trini posts for Black History Month. If you want to understand how to be more inclusive her videos are a great place to start.
  • Luvvie Ajayi Jones on Insta & Linkedin – is fierce, funny and tells it like it is. She pulls no punches when it comes to elevating Black People and their businesses AND her words are so uplifting especially for a business owner like me.
  • Cephas Williams – is tirelessly trying to change the image of Black Britons through his stunning photography and tackling each big organisation one at a time. Check out his Letter to Zion (his son) to learn about his mission.
  • Philip Mix on Linkedin – Philip has been my greatest source of finding voices that are helping me learn how to be anti-racist. He is not afraid to confront his own privilege and use it to elevate those that should be heard more.

Other cool stuff I found on the internet this week:

This Oatmeal Comic on why it breaks our brain to take compliments.
Best line – ” Receiving a compliment is like being tossed a ball covered in lube and scorpions by someone with the best intentions” – The Oatmeal
This podcast from Under the Cortex a new psychology podcast I stumbled on. It’s the best argument I’ve heard yet as to why the Myers-Briggs Test is bogus.
Hmmm it seems I get the bulk of my info from podcasts and Netflix. I need some new sources so send them my way, pleeeeease.

Pic of the week

More new plants arrived this week – they were on spesh I promise! The front garden is slowly shaping up to be a calming oasis of gently swaying grasses as long as the frost doesn’t kill them all off.
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