It’s Black History Month — a time to honour and celebrate the history, achievements, and enduring contributions of the Black British community in the UK. Although this month serves as a dedicated time for us to spotlight and appreciate the profound impact of the Black community on our society, culture, and history, it’s equally important to uplift and amplify the community year-round.
Additionally, this month is not just about reflecting on the past, it’s also about celebrating the present and sharing our vision for the future. We spoke with some of our employees about what this celebration means to them:
DANIEL YAMOAH (Strategic Account Manager)
Black History Month, to me, represents an opportunity for everyone, regardless of their background, to come together, celebrate, and gain an understanding of the impact of Black heritage and culture. With my mixed African and Caribbean heritage, I am delighted during this month to share the richness and diversity of Black culture — fostering a sense of unity and appreciation.
Moreover, Black History Month plays a pivotal role in raising awareness about diversity and inclusion. It sparks vital conversations that are essential for building a more inclusive society. By recognising the remarkable contributions of so many individuals, this month inspires me to reflect on my own contributions to society and my aspirations for leaving a positive legacy. It serves as a reminder that every one of us has the power to make a meaningful impact and shape a more equitable future for all.
JHANE GIBSON (Programme Manager)
Oftentimes, Backness feels like a part of my identity that needs to be fought for. During Black History Month, it’s a part of my identity that gets to be celebrated — loudly. Of course, recognising Black individuals and culture is important year-round, but sometimes we need a reminder to step back and be intentional about making space for the things that can be overlooked in the day-to-day.
From taking the time to acknowledge the contributions that Black people have made to society, and having important conversations about what it’s like to be a Black person in the UK – Black History Month gives us all the room to reflect, celebrate and appreciate.
LOMI ASCHWANDEN (ISV Principal Partner Manager)
Even though I think we should all be in a position to celebrate who we are all year round, Black History Month provides the focus needed to celebrate Black culture, in all its shapes and forms.
For me, it is a celebration of the diversity and depth of Black culture, as well as a demonstration of the rich historical contribution of the Black community to the rest of the world. It showcases that Black culture is not a one-size-fits-all —it is a highly varied culture spanning a number of continents and a rainbow of nations.
As a mixed-race person, it has always been important for me to explore and celebrate my Black heritage; it has been and is a personal quest as it was never part of any standard school curriculum. I therefore look forward to Black History Month every year!
ELIJAH OLANIPEKUN (Functional Consultant)
Black History Month, to me, symbolizes togetherness, community, and the opportunity to revisit our past, our present, and our future.
It gives us the chance to get together and celebrate the journey, the roadblocks, and the accomplishments that we have collectively experienced and celebrate our melanin, which we are all bound by and what makes us uniquely different. It also gives us a chance to reflect on the many contributions people in our community have made to society and gives ample opportunity to have crucial conversations on what we and other communities can do to uplift one another.
TUNDE MOSAKU (Principal Software Engineer)
Moving to the UK in my 20s, Black History Month, for me, has been a learning, an appreciation and a celebration. I’ve come to understand that Black is not one thing. It is many things — many beautiful things.
It is a time to remember the struggles and victories that have shaped society, and a chance to have important, and sometimes difficult, conversations about fairness, representation, and making real and lasting change. It’s also an opportunity to showcase the amazing contributions the Black community has made and to elevate the stories of individuals who are making a difference in our history. In celebrating, everyone’s story is heard and valued – standing together for love, equality and understanding.
EVISON THOMAS (Coordinator, Salesforce Innovation Centre)
Being born to two Caribbean immigrants in London, Black History Month has always meant a lot to me. It’s an opportunity to not only look back on the history of our people’s successes and stories in this country and globally, but it also provides an opportunity to proactively look forward.
As someone who remembers Black History Month in my years at secondary school to now being in my 30s in the blink of an eye, I deem it very important to prioritise the future of our community and the generations that follow us.
Black History Month allows us a dedicated time and space to have important conversations and shine a light on our history and achievements in the workplace, classrooms, home, and many other places in which it may be overlooked throughout the year. As a father to a one-year-old, this Black History Month has even more personal importance to me. It’s a reminder to raise my daughter with her ethnic identity as a core value to be proud of and not downplayed. I’m also reminded of how important it is for me, and all of us, to be the change and support I may have felt was lacking, at times, during my upbringing.