Migrants did so much for our country, and paved the way for their children – David Cameron
In a message to the Official Black History month magazine, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I’m delighted to support this year’s Black History Month now in its 26th year of celebrating the achievements, culture and history of African-Caribbean people in the UK. Coming in the same year as the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech it is fitting that this year’s themes are social mobility and young people.
“Half a century on from that historic and inspiring speech we, as a nation, must ensure that young people, regardless of their ethnicity or background, have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
“I passionately believe that everyone should have a fair chance at life in Britain today. We are in a global race and we need to nurture all our brightest and best talent so that we can succeed as a nation.
“I’m pleased to see that so much of that talent is being realised by Britons of African-Caribbean heritage, whose young entrepreneurs and businessmen and women are spearheading our country’s economic recovery at the ground level. It’s no surprise that over a third of all new business set up under out Start Up loans initiative in the past 12 months have come from black minority ethnic entrepreneurs.
“This year also marks the 65th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush in 1948. I pay tribute to the Windrush generation and praise their fortitude and determination in overcoming those unjust hardships and challenges.
“Those early migrants did so much for our country, and paved the way for their children and subsequent generations to make enormous contributions to Britain in the 21st century.
“I wish everyone taking part in fantastic events up and down the country all the best ”
Black History Month “Must be used to build bright futures” says leading life coach
Black History Month must be used as a platform to build bright futures ‘now in the present not just to learn about the past’ if we are truly progress and individually and collectively, says leading UK based life coach and motivational speaker Rasheed Ogunlaru.
“The invitation of the past – and Black History Month – is learn from it, be inspired by those who have positively shaped it and changed it and to apply that inspiration and mind-set and take charge of our own lives, careers, relationships and possibilities to create a brighter future for one and all,” says Rasheed author whose clients include Chief Executives, entrepreneurs, entertainers and the public highlights that self-responsibility, mind-set and working collaboratively is the key to progress.
“If you look at any inspirational figure be it a Seacole, King, Mandela, Winfrey, Obama they tend to share three key qualities vision, self belief and action. They learn from the past but shape the future by being proactive in the present, not passive and stuck in backward-thinking.”
“This Black History Month as we celebrate the 50 Anniversary of Dr King’s famous I have a Dream Speech’ the best thing we can do is to take up his call to dream – and to dream new dreams, take responsibility and to work individually and collectively to bring them to reality for all of humanity.” says Mr Ogunlaru whose books include Soul Trader – Putting the Heart Back into Your Business.
Whatever our background, this is our history. This is Britain’s history – Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg
As Black History Month begins this October, Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has celebrated the occasion by saying:
“Black History Month reminds us that remembering the past is about more than just memorising important dates and facts. It is about recognising and understanding the kaleidoscopic mix of people, events and influences that have shaped the country we live in and make us who we are.
“Over the last 26 years, Black History Month has helped inform and educate men, women and children across Britain, highlighting and celebrating the powerful contribution of African and Caribbean people in every area of British society, across centuries of our history.
“Black History Month is built around the belief that people who are aware of their roots and the achievements of their ancestors – with stories passed from generation to generation – can look to their future with ambition and confidence. Importantly, it is also a reaction to the fact that historians in decades past have failed to acknowledge Black historical figures.
“But it’s not just the impact of more well-known African and Caribbean people on Britain’s history that we recognise throughout this month, like the abolitionists Olaudah Equiano and Mary Prince, Victorian Crimea War nurse Mary Seacole and composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, as well as Claudia Jones who brought us the Notting Hill Carnival, Jazzie B who revolutionised the British music scene, Arthur Wharton and Viv Anderson who achieved significant ‘firsts’ in football, Benjamin Zephaniah the celebrated poet and Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Floella Benjamin.
“It’s also those ordinary people, who – in their every day lives – continue to do extraordinary things to ensure a better life for their families and their local communities. This includes the Windrush generation. Sixty five years ago, this pioneering group of men and women arrived at Tilbury Docks with little more than a suitcase in their hand. Yet, ever since, the transformative and remarkable effect they’ve had on British business, politics, culture, arts, sport and elsewhere, is clear to see.
“For all of us, whatever our background, this is our history. This is Britain’s history.
“And I want to wish everyone across the UK involved in organising or attending events throughout October an enjoyable and successful Black History Month.”