One of the challenges we face in the UK is we have a small black population. I point it out as an issue because our population size has made a difference in how we galvanise and unify ourselves in comparison to, say, the African American community.
Despite also living in a majority white continent and facing regular discrimination and systematic racism, in a much more overt and national way, African Americans have overcome so much so far, collectively.
When black people come together
A comparatively larger population of African Americans in the US has meant they have made a significant impact when coming together to fight injustice and inequalities, often spreading globally.
Consider, for example, people such as James Baldwin, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Angela Davies, recognised worldwide for their considerable contributions as civil rights activists. And of course, we’ve been able to engage in the #BlackLivesMatter and #BlackOutTuesday movements originating in the US.
Far less is known about the works of men and women like Marcus Garvey, Darcus Howe, Claudia Jones, Akala and Dr Nicola Rollock right here in the UK.
Or how about Rosa Parks? In an instant, many of us can recount the time this lady refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger. Her protest was the beginning of a national bus boycott in Montgomery. But what can you tell me about the Bristol boycott?
So as people of African and descent, when we take a stand, few get to know about it and just as many will turn a blind eye resulting in little if any change in the moral and conscious fibre of our community.
Economic strength will lead to change.
I take a particular interest in how African Americans have been able to develop their economic strength. Of recent many African American billionaires have emerged.
Economic strength is a significant factor in fueling change. I don’t think you need me to specify the shift both intergenerationally and nationally the UK black population could achieve if it focused much of its collective efforts on building wealth.
However, despite the massive and successful revolutionary movements of our African American cousins due in part to their size, I don’t believe similar cannot be achieved by those of us on European shores. All it takes is a willingness, readiness and the recognition of its due need. On our side, we have social media, which has made global participation in movements far easier.
Through solidarity and a genuine desire for progress, not just individually but for all, we can achieve the same goal. In fact, it becomes easier. “Alone, you may go fast, but together, we will get far.”
And so business is my thing, and thus the strategies to empower the struggling and or few small black-owned businesses here in the UK must, in my mind, take precedence. We are wholly overdue for the time to unify, take a stand and effect long-lasting change. There cannot be any more delay for when black people come together in the UK to strive for the financial benefit of us all. Are you with me?