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Black History

todayOctober 1, 2023 8

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Black History Month 2023 is a momentous occasion to recognise and celebrate the invaluable contributions of black people to British society.

Black people have always been at the forefront of social justice movements, fighting against oppression and paving the way for change. However, despite their countless contributions to society, the achievements of black women, in particular, have too often been overlooked or forgotten. That is why, this year, we will be celebrating the exceptional achievements of black women.

Echoing this year’s Black History Month theme of ‘Saluting our Sisters’, we wanted to acknowledge a collection of Black women across the UK who have lifted up, opened doors and advocated – not only for themselves but for their sisters and their community.

We highlight the crucial roles that black women have played in shaping history, inspiring change, and building communities. This year’s celebration will showcase pioneering black women who have made remarkable contributions to literature, music, fashion, sport, business, politics, academia, social and health care, and more.


Singer, actress, and panellist on ITV daytime talk show Loose Women, Brenda rose to fame on the X Factor in 2005 before venturing into musicals and starring in the West End in hits like Chicago, We Will Rock You, Carousel, and Hairspray.

But her world came crashing down when last year, Brenda’s son, Jamal Edwards, creator of SBTV, died at the age of 31. The influential mogul had been awarded an MBE for his work which helped UK music acts including Dave, Stormzy, Jessie J and Ed Sheeran, who counted him as his best friend.

Brenda shared on Loose Women a private letter King Charles had sent to her, in which he expressed his sorrow and deepest condolences. Since Jamal’s death, she has set up a trust in his name to support disadvantaged young people, providing a sanctuary for the homeless and creating a community academy and she won a Hero Award following her campaigning work last year.

Brenda has spoken on Loose Women about her experiences with domestic abuse which left her ‘fearing for her life’ after an abusive ex tracked her down and she also raises money and awareness for various cancer charities after being diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in 2016.


Lydia Amoah leads the way in transforming workplaces for people of all backgrounds.

The entrepreneur, based in Surrey, was once told she didn’t have ‘normal skin’ by a shop assistant.

In response, she set up the Black Pound Report to tackle how businesses treat their customers and explore the lack of representation in advertising of Black, Asian and Multi-Ethnic consumers.

The report, which began in 2018, looks into employment statistics to see how diverse and inclusive companies really are.

She later launched Backlight – a culture change agency – off the back of the success of the Black Pound Report. The company that helps companies become more inclusive.

She’s flown across the world to give talks and interviews and has helped thousands of people gain confidence to access career paths they felt weren’t for them.

Lydia was inspired by her parents – who emigrated to the UK from Ghana – to make a difference in society.

Her family faced racism and prejudice when they first arrived in the country and fought to be accepted.

Dawn is a member of the Labour Party and is currently the MP for Brent Central, a position she has held continuously since 2015.

She’s no stranger to making her voice heard – she was famously booted from the House of Commons after calling Boris Johnson a liar – and is committed to tackling racism, sexism and other inequalities in the UK.

Dawn is only the third Black woman to have ever been elected as an MP. She has struggled with racism in Parliament and, in 2019, was even mistaken for a cleaner.

Writing for previously, Dawn said: ‘When it comes to race and equality we need to continually renew and progress because as soon as you take your foot off the pedal rights begin to roll back.

‘In this current political climate, I fear and worry that further rights are being rolled back, and this disrespect and intolerance of others is uncomfortably spreading.’

Following her successful battle with cancer in 2021, Dawn backed research by Barts Charity that would increase people of colour’s chances of surviving cancer.


Written by: iLive UK

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