In the wake of the tragic death of George Floyd which has sparked outrage across the world, organisations and initiatives with the aim to support the Black Lives Matter Movement have begun making changes for black lives in their own way.
1. The Black Music Movement
The Black Music Movement is a London based music collective & platform fighting against racism, adversity and to bring communities up and down the country together. Through the power of music & art, everyone involved has had the opportunity to share their stories through their chosen art form, rapping/singing, poetry or their touching speeches.
In an interview with Indepth Stories Phoenix, the founder of the Black Music Movement said that: “As black people, through systematic racism, we are portrayed as violent, and when there is any confrontation between the police and the protestors, the protestors always end up being blamed”. Despite this, The Black Music Movement has created a way to be heard loud and clear, without the need for unnecessary conflict between the police and those supporting the movement.
The group visited five cities in all (Brighton, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham). One look at their socials or better yet, a visit to one of their events,makes it clear that these guys brought nothing but good vibes, emotion and passion to each city, as they put on some amazing performances and told some touching stories. After catching up with Phoenix, it is clear there is no sign of slowing down as they intend to keep pushing and fighting against all the inequality and injustice we continue to face within our society.
2. The Manchester March
After the devastating scenes in Minneapolis, where George Floyd sadly lost his life due to extreme police brutality, we have seen a surge in protests across the world. Here, in the UK, many have come together to organise protests, yet there is something special about the protests in Manchester.
The reason why the protests in Manchester stood out, in particular, was because of who was behind it all. Heba, a 16-year-old girl, who is driven and motivated to shake up the system, support all oppressed groups and to fight against all forms of discrimination.
Starting out with just a BLM banner while walking through the city centre of Manchester and an instagram page, The Manchester March soon became much more than just another social media page. Gaining over 11,000 instagram followers The Manchester March has now organised several events where thousands were in attendance to support the movement, while gathering crucial resources to encourage their followers to challenge and educate.
It was through her personal experiences with racism and the fact she could the neglect the topic was facing that inspired Heba to take action against a broken society, with the hope they can make a real impact.
Speaking with TRAP Centrl. in July, the organisers told us some of their plans going forward, including plans to speak to local MP’s like Lucy Powell as well as talking to those higher up in Government. This is proof that the younger generation is here to shake things up and are refusing to accept the outdated views and mindset of the older generation.
3. The Black Curriculum
Founded in 2019 by Lavinya Stennett, a historian, writer and recent graduate from SOAS, The Black Curriculum is a social enterprise aiming to address the lack of Black History taught in the UK curriculum. They believe that delivering bespoke Black History programs, teacher training and campaigning through mobilising young people, can most definitely contribute to social change.
Since starting last year, The Black Curriculum has created partnerships with schools around the country to deliver their programs. Tailoring these programs for young people aged 8-16. The Black Curriculum are giving young people a sense of identity, and the tools and resources to better understand Black History and what it means.
If we are all honest with ourselves, most of us probably haven’t received an extensive insight into Black History. The Black Curriculum have recognised this and pledge to seek change. They have gone as far as reaching out to the Government in an attempt to meet with the Secretary of State for Education to discuss the lack of education around Black History within the curriculum. However, their proposal was initially rejected by the Government who highlighted that the UK curriculum, as a framework, is broad, balanced and flexible to teach black history within schools – this approach by the Government is questionable, as there is still no exam specification, which would encourage teachers to teach this topic in depth.
After receiving a second response from Government minister Nick Gibb, which acknowledged the work these guys do, there is no doubt The Black Curriculum will make changes to policy and within our communities going forward.
4. Black Pound Day
Winning both the BRIT and MOBO awards with the legendary So Solid Crew, Swiss has launched a solution-based approach to support the growth of the Black Economy here in the UK.
The BPD campaign was launched to encourage shoppers to change their day to day shopping habits on the first Saturday of each month and spend money with local and online UK Black-owned businesses. Replacing the usual purchases with services and products from Black-owned businesses.
Many may be wondering what the long term goal of this campaign is.
The reason why putting more money into black owned businesses is so important, is because money will generate more power within black communities and with power comes opportunities (not sure about about the word power here, maybe use influence or say power to affect change, something specific about power though). One example would be removing the barriers black entrepreneurs face, who’s access to capital from institutional lenders and investors is limited according to BPD official. Or how about the fact over 48% of BAME-led businesses did not access, nor expect any Government support during COVID-19. In fact, evidence from the Department for Communities and Local Government suggests that ethnic minority business owners are more likely to be rejected on loan applications compared to white counterparts.
Despite all the issues we are continuing face within our society, there are signs of positivity, signs of social change. This comes down to the hardworking individuals who are setting up organisations and/or initiatives and working tirelessly to fight for the movement!
So, if you are wondering how you could help support any of the organisations listed above check their socials out below and get involved!