While schools may mark Black History Month, it is important to remember that we cannot rely on them to teach us about black history.
There are other avenues, resources and people that can provide us with an abundance of knowledge, particularly during this month.
One example is Filmmaker and founder of Visionnary Arts, Troy James Aidoo who to mark Black History Month has created a short film series titled More Than Melanin.
More than Melanin aims to address some of the key issues facing black people in Britain today. It is an insightful project which serves to both educate people and give them a voice by allowing those who experience racism, to tell their own stories.
The series also breaks down stereotypes such as the ‘angry black woman’ and challenge harmful terms such as ‘oreo’ and ‘coconut’. In addition it brings to the table the idea of intersectional feminism, emphasising upon the importance of this concept being embraced. From a historical perspective, it touches upon black history in Britain which dates as far back as the Roman Empire, dispelling the myth that the presence of the black community in Britain beginning with the Windrush Generation.
Speaking about why he created this project, Troy said “Perceptions need to change that racism no longer exists”, adding “we are more than what they portray; our melanin, us being black.”
In the films we see and hear black Britons tell their own stories and highlight the questions around the concept of being ‘colourblind’
Below are links to some of the films from the series, alternatively check them out via the More than Melanin blog
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Jesse Bernard is a freelance community manager and writer based in London. He writes about a variety of social issues from feminism, race to mental health and education. He is the editor of Marvin’s Corridor and is currently writing his first novel which touches on depression, domestic abuse and self expression. Jesse has carried out an empirical study assessing the affects hypermasculinity has on men. Find him on Twitter: @MarvinsCorridor
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