Monday 31-10-2016 - 16:13
As Black History Month comes to an end, NUS Wales Black Students’ Officer Cosi Darko looks back on what it means for her.
I have reflected on Black History Month and the main message for me was ‘knowing you are worth something and have value as a black person’. I want you as black students in Wales to know that you are worth something. The purpose of the struggles of black people throughout history was to demonstrate that black people should be treated as equal human beings. All the atrocities black people have faced and still face today are due to the fact that people wrongly thought they were worthless and had no value. How wrong they were and how wrong they are about you.
Never forget no matter what you see in the media, no matter what you are faced with in school, face in the work place or everyday life as a black student in the UK, this is not a reflection of you as a person. All the negative stereotypes based on ignorance are not true. You are intelligent, smart, and creative and anything is possible for you. Some of you come from the people who made Ancient Egypt one of the greatest civilizations in the world, some of you come from the Nubians, the Babylonians, the Persians and many more. Go and read about the ancient civilizations of Africa and Asia and you will learn that a lot of the stereotypes are nonsense. Some of you are descendants of the slaves who fought for their freedom in the Caribbean, Europe and the Americas. Some of you are descendants of those who fought for freedom against their colonizers. You are from the people who succeed despite the seemingly impossible obstacles mounted against them. I know even in the histories of your lives so far you have overcome the obstacles of racism and systematic oppressions that should have been a stumbling block for you. Yes, you and your story is Black History Month. So celebrate yourself and give yourself a pat on the back for all you’ve overcome.
Forget all that nonsense saying black people are divisive, can’t live in a cohesive society and cause tensions. Let’s not forget that black people taught the world that human beings are all equal despite the colour of their skin and place in society. Let’s not forget black people taught western civilisation discrimination is wrong and brought black and white people together so they could live in cohesion. The reason it’s possible to have multi-cultural societies is because of black people. Know your history and know that the people of the past fought so that people recognised their value and we have to fight for the same thing. One thing history teaches us is that black people who knew their value, revolutionized their lives and the rest of the world for the better.
Due to personal circumstances this year I was unable to organise Black History Month activities in Wales. I hope you’ve enjoyed the month. Say it loud ‘I’m black and I’m proud’.
For more information, visit: http://www.nus.org.uk/en/who-we-are/how-we-work/black-students/ or email me at Akosua.Darko@nus-wales.org.uk to learn more about the NUS Wales Black Students Campaign and how we can be of service to you.