October is dubbed Black History Month in the UK. Now, as someone who was one of those activists in the 80s who campaigned vigorously for schools across the country to introduce Black history, which is broader than slavery, into the national curriculum, I am left perplexed about what it has come to mean.
Some cities have renamed it ‘Diversity’ month, some have called it ‘Cultural History’ month, anything but Black History month. Why? Is it so divisive to have one month which allows children of African heritage to learn factually about their history?
I’m a firm believer that, giving these children and their wider peers the knowledge of their rich heritage would instill pride in them. I also believe, the current scourge of violence among our children would be greatly reduced as they would find new-found respect for themselves and others.
Now, you may ask what has this got to do with Christianity? This is a question which I pondered on when I embarked on this blog. But, as a Christian, I firmly believe in equality, fairness, love and justice. I see these as major cornerstones of my faith, indeed, most of the recognized religions stand on these pillars.
In James 4 v 17 it says: “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” Likewise, in Galatians 3 v 28, we are told, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
If therefore, we are all one in Christ Jesus should our purpose in life not be to ensure everyone is treated equally and fairly?
One thing we have seen over the years, and which have been bought sharply into focus over the past months is that not everyone is treated equally. Black Lives have not been treated equally. During October, in the UK, we have the opportunity to do something, however small, about rectifying this.
When we begin teaching our children, who after all are the leaders of the future, their true history, one which reflects all our stories equally – teach British history accurately, there will not be a need to have one month to focus on treating us as “all one in Christ Jesus.”
I believe as Christians we cannot be ‘luke warm’ we must continue to fight for justice for all, as Jesus would have done. We need to be fired up for equality and fairness and in this Black History month, let’s start by each doing our bit to ensure that the true spirit of this month is not totally lost. We must face injustice head on! Maybe one day, there will be no need for a Black History Month, as history will be recorded and shared truthfully.
“So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality,” Acts 10v34