Action You Can Take During Black History Month
October is Black History Month, and this year’s theme is Time For Change: Action Not Words. So as a child or young person, what can you do to try to make a difference?
This article is also available in Welsh – I ddarllen y cynnwys yma yn Gymraeg clicia yma
Non-racist v Anti-racist
Firstly, we’ll deal with the difference between being non-racist and anti-racist. Being non-racist means that you are not racist, don’t use racist language, and don’t judge someone because of the colour of their skin. Being anti-racist means you will not stand by when you hear or see racism, and you’ll do something about it. Taking action – this is what makes a difference. Here are some actions you can take:
Call out racism
If you see or hear racism, then call it out. We’re not telling you to put yourself in danger – if you don’t feel safe or comfortable challenging racism, tell a teacher, your parent, or an adult you trust. But racism, and casual racism, happens all around us in our day-to-day lives and in the conversations you hear around you.
Do you hear your friends using racist words sometimes? They might not even realise that what they say is racist, but that doesn’t make it ok, and it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t call them out on it. Let them know that you are anti-racist by saying something. Tell them that what they said is wrong and that they should respect people’s differences. If they are judging someone because of the colour of their skin, tell them that this isn’t acceptable and that they are being racist, and suggest things they can do to be more informed.
If you don’t feel safe challenging racist language, then this Newsround blog has advice on what you should do.
Learn about black history
Learning about black history might make you understand more about the discrimination and the hate that black people have faced over the decades and still face today. It might make you realise why it’s important to stand together in the fight against racism. Everyone needs to stand up for it – this isn’t just something that black people have to fight for; we should be allies and help them fight discrimination.
Whatever you learn from reading, watching or listening to things about black history, don’t keep it to yourself. Share it with the people around you and teach them too.
TheSprout has gathered together some great book, tv, film and podcast recommendations to learn about black history. Check out books like The Hate U Give, Dear Martin and The Underground Railroad here. There are some really informative films and programmes like Harriet, When They See Us and 12 Years a Slave here (but make sure you’re old enough to watch some of these). And if you’re into podcasts, then Black History for White People, Black History Moments and Black History Bites are just some of the ones included here.
Get your school to join in
Worried that you’re hearing casual racism or witnessing racist bullying on the playground, or that your school doesn’t discuss black issues enough? Then why not talk to your headteacher or teacher and ask them if they could do something during Black History Month to teach diversity and inclusion at your school. It could be a special assembly, a short presentation at registration or a class presentation, or sharing resources with students through the school website. Let them know there are teaching resources they can use online on websites like Twinkl and Hwb.
- Want to learn more about the Black Lives Matter movement – check out our blog Talk To Meic About Black Lives Matter.
- The Black History Month website has lots of news and information, and they also have this handy guide to events happening in Wales during the month.
- Find out more about White Privilege, what it is, and why it’s important to understand it in this Newsround blog.