As we celebrate the start of Black History Month, we speak to GMB activist Hashim Equiano from Leeds; he tells us what Black History Month means to him.
For many years, the history of the people of African descent was always based around the enslaved.
As a young person in school, I never learnt about people like Mary Seacole, Bessie Coleman, Bass Reeves, The Black Wall Street, and many other things in history that I could relate to and be culturally proud of.
Back in 1988, I studied black history at night school and learnt so much, but it still wasn’t out there in the mainstream.
When Black History Month was introduced in the UK it became something that my family, friends and colleagues could relate to, and have our own input so we could spread the word.
This also enabled us to teach others and our children that our ancestors’ history didn’t start from enslavement, but more about how much they have contributed to the world.
We hope that one day black history will not be addressed for 31 days in the year, it will be for 365 days.
But we’ve made that start.