At this time of every year, there are a plethora of reminders of all aspects of our history. While many of the events are carefully thought-out and well-calibrated exercises in shared learning, far too many feel like the result of a box-ticking system with the words, “Black”, “History” and “Month”.
Most of the events and activities are aimed at our children, often with the hazy objective of affirming their self-worth and desire to succeed. Having endured more than a decade of damp autumn afternoons listening to our past heroes and their triumphs (and disasters), my 16-year old son and some of his friends agreed that Black History Month has positive outcomes. But it does pay to be selective.
His generation is hugely confident, although not naive, about our future. Common narratives about our global community are clearly seen for what they are. There are the crude attempts to destabilise and engender mutual self-loathing and mistrust – all of which are losing the battle against their ability to connect with the truth.
Furthermore, relying exclusively on others to provide employment for us is as outdated as paraffin heaters, the gram, plastic coverings in the front room and waiting patiently for crumbs. They are not up for playing the game but changing it.
And what do they want from us? Hurry up and pass that baton. It will remain in good hands.