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Black History Month: What it is, what’s on, and what it means to one Preston woman

Posted on - 1st October, 2020 - 2:00pm | Author - | Posted in - History, People, Preston History, Preston News, What's On in Preston
Black Lives Matter supporters at Flag Market protest Pic: Garry Cook
Black Lives Matter protests took place on the Flag Market earlier this year Pic: Garry Cook

Black History Month is observed each October in the UK.

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It’s a starting point for people across the country to explore and discover Black history and heritage. It’s also a time to celebrate Black culture and achievements from the past and present, while looking ahead to future possibilities.

Blog Preston will be running a Black History Month series, featuring articles on history including the Windrush generation, what life is like for Black Prestonians today, and stories from the community.

If you’d like to get involved and share your story, please email contactus@blogpreston.co.uk. We’d love to hear from adults and children alike, and you can send information in written or video formats.

First up this month we talk to Glenda Andrew from Preston Windrush Generation and Descendants to find out what Black History Month means to her.

Glenda Andrew Pic: Garry Cook
Glenda posing for the Proud Preston People project Pic: Garry Cook

“When I was a child I loved history. It would’ve been great if we had something like this back then. At the time, the only relevance to our culture and where my ancestors came from was Carnival, or what we did at home, or going to church.

“The main thing I remember learning about Black history was slavery, although we knew unconsciously there was more to it than met the eye.

“Now we have Black History Month and it’s a time for education – to be able to share more about where we come from with family and friends. When you’re educated you’re empowered.

“Black history is for everyone. It’s not just about slavery and pop stars like Bob Marley. It’s about understanding the history of all of us as Black people or people of colour or Europeans. I believe we’re all the same, but we should honour our differences

“A lot of people have lost a lot of people in the past few months, so it’s especially important to remember our ancestors and what they brought to the world. We wouldn’t be here today – any of us – Black or White.

“What’s happened this year highlights the importance of knowing history, knowing who you are and what your rights are. More people want to learn about diversity. It’s important to find out about who you are, where you come from.

Glenda Andrew Pic: Garry Cook
Glenda speaking at a Black Lives Matter event on the Flag Market Pic: Garry Cook

“Black History Month is also about celebrating and being inspired. The things that most inspire me about Black history are the music and the people.

“My parents were Adventists and growing up music was very important. I used to sing a lot. It’s another way of communicating, it’s a spiritual thing and it means you’re part of the community and church.

“Soul and RnB derives from gospel. A lot of Black History Month events are created around music and wanting to tell the real story of where it came from.

“People who inspired me include the Dorcas women, who were part of the church. They were a group who helped with welfare and crisis. If someone was hungry, they would feed them.

“I love hearing older people share their stories. I recently heard a couple tell of how the woman had come from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the 1960s and met her now-husband, a white British man. They connected, and they still hold hands to this day.”

What’s on in Preston for Black History Month 2020

Black History Month at UCLan

The University of Central Lancashire is running a series of events that are open to the wider community, including webinars on race and research and Black talent.

Find out more on the UCLan website.

David Olusoga in Conversation: Black History Matters

The Harris invites you to join historian David Olusoga online on Wednesday 7 October at 7.30pm for a conversation about his personal perspective on how we memorialise, teach and write about racism, and why Black British history matters.

Find out more on the Harris website.

Preston Black History Group and Radio Lancashire collaboration

A month-long series of radio features exploring the historic Black presence in Lancashire, covering some amazing and fascinating stories.

Find out more on the Preston Black History Group Facebook page.

Black History Month exhibition at The Larder

From Monday 5 October, Preston Black History Group is displaying local, national and international figures with African heritage.

Windrush Community Response (year round)

The Preston Windrush Generation and Descendants group runs a weekly free food outreach project aimed at the vulnerable elderly population. The service is funded by donations. Anybody who would like to try a Caribbean meal can request a delivery for a donation.

Find out more on the PWGD website.

Preston Windrush Generation and Descendants FreeTalk Zoom (year round)

Taking place each Tuesday at 8.30pm, this meeting is a chance for victims of the Windrush Scandal and the hostile environment to talk about what is happening to them and seek mutual support.

Find out more by emailing info@prestonwindrush.co.uk.

Read more:Latest news and updates from Blog Preston

Are you doing anything to celebrate Black History Month? Let us know in the comments.

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