Updated: Sep 14, 2022
Black History Month (BHM) is not just about the month of October, it is about our past, our presence and our future. It’s a time for reflection and focus.
Black colleagues within the Met have contributed to being part of the change we wish to see’ for over 53 years.
Our stories are varied and built on the success of colleagues that have gone before us. Our future is made in the present and now is the time to expand our learning so that we can grow together as a family.
I have spent 29 years as a police officer in London and I’ve worked with a kaleidoscope of communities. Our engagement with African, Caribbean and Asian heritage communities requires everyone to understand the history that intertwines our existence and celebrating BHM is a means to achieve this.
The first BHM celebrated in the Met was in 2005 and it was an opportunity to shine a spotlight on our legacy; not just through our roles as police officers and staff but in our communities.
Year after year there seems to be more and more to celebrate, a real focus on understanding black heritage and culture and how we are all interlinked with each other.
Every year the MetBPA celebrates BHM with a different theme focusing on MetBPA members, past and present. This year we have posed a selection of questions to members and friends of the MetBPA relating to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, the effects of COVID-19, lockdown and the current status we find ourselves in.
These will be circulated to the membership throughout BHM, published on the Intranet, our website (which is currently being reconstructed) and on social media.
In America, BHM is celebrated in February with a key African American activist Rosa Parks (Montgomery Bus Boycott) celebrating her birthday on the 4th. I feel that BHM should be celebrated every day as this would encourage everyone to learn something new, even me.
This year as I reflect on the events after the death of George Floyd and the unity shown by so many during the black lives matter protests. It has allowed me to believe that something so tragic can have a real meaningful impact for the future.
A quote from my favourite orator Barack Obama says,
“Hope is not blind optimism. It’s not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It’s not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it. Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be”
Chair of the MetBPA (Metropolitan Black Police Association)