Making Black History Month Political

By Thomas L Blair 27 October 2016 ©

The Rev David Shosanya
The Rev David Shosanya

Black Britons have begun to dream. They’ve begun to dream of winning …not only a place in the post-Brexit race for resources but strive for a culture of equality for all too.

David Shosanya’s 2009 rally for the State of Black Britain glimpsed the cherished ideals. It offered strong political-cultural models, and stirred healthy controversy.

Clearly now, we see that Black Britons have an historic cultural role to play in the 21st century. The could crowd fund their talents in the arts with money raised online from supporters.

This fits seamlessly with many bread and butter issues. They could do more to make Black Lives Matter. They could do more to curb pollution where they live. They could vote for access to emerging job markets and investment in mass transit. They could campaign against the cuts to their jobs in the NHS and support union rights in the health sector.

What stands between Black people and this progressive wish list? One of the biggest weaknesses does. They are not very good in the cut and thrust of politics in the public realm. For one thing, they haven’t yet hit on a successful strategy for consistent political leadership.

To make history theirs, they have to build a strong bench of candidates with sturdy supports from communities. They have to abandon the false, opportunist culture of Black History presentations — and favour the hard slog of community political action. They have to power their aspirations with the single tactic that makes the difference. It’s Door-to-door campaigning by enthusiastic volunteers. street by street, in every housing estate and in every Zone of Desperation. At all hours and in snow, wind and rain.

The stakes are too high to lose. Today’s State of Black Britain is in crisis. However, making black history post-Brexit is an opportunity for change. Why? Well,  Culture Months “ain’t gonna feed us, always”.  It is not enough to be angry and shocked. Black History Month is not the Balm of Gilead. People should work together to shape the politics of opportunity, of culture, of economics – and thereby the course of future history. Read more.

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