Black History Month 2020
As we round up Black History Month in 2020, we must acknowledge the particularly traumatic year this has been for Black communities, in the UK and abroad, between the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on people of colour and the global response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade.
Black History Month is always an important time to remember and celebrate the lives and work of Black LGBT+ people in the UK, but we must stand all year round with Black LGBT+ people and LGBT+ people of colour.
Research, by Galop and others, shows that Black LGBT+ people, and LGBT+ people of colour, are at increased risk of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and hate crime. As an organisation supporting LGBT+ victims and survivors of abuse and violence, we know that there are additional barriers faced by Black LGBT+ victims and survivors in seeking safety and justice as a result of their experiences. We must work to break down these barriers and strive for equity for all LGBT+ people.
We also know that it is not simply enough to acknowledge racism, but we must be anti-racist in our approach going forward. Listening and learning from the experiences of this year, we have instituted a multi-year plan to embed anti-racist practice across our work to ensure we are supporting all LGBT+ victims and survivors who need us, as well as our Black staff and staff members of colour. We will be working with our Black and People of Color Staff Network to ensure that this work is informed by and centres the experience and voices of Black LGBT+ people and LGBT+ people of colour.
Beyond the end of Black History Month, we must not forget the bravery of and hardships faced by Black LGBT+ people in our community’s history. We must continue to platform and celebrate the work of the amazing Black LGBT+ people currently doing so much to create our community’s future. We are all responsible for challenging discrimination, and we must continue to celebrate the inspiring work of Black trailblazers in the UK all year around.
We must also remember and honour those Black LGBT+ people we have lost to abuse and violence, and ensure that their and our legacy to Black LGBT+ people and LGBT+ people of colour is a better, safer, and more just future.