Black History Month 2021 – Proud to Be

Proud to be event special guests

Published: 10 November 2021

This year’s Black History Month was inspired by the 2020 Black Lives Matter events with the theme ‘Proud to Be’ and invited people to share what they are Proud to be. For example, Proud to Be Black, Proud to Be Brown, Proud to Be Black & LGBTQ+, Proud to Be Me.

We celebrated and embraced Black History Month with lots of wonderful events and activities. We ran a series of poetry events run by our very own HeArTs+minds group and the Devon Wide BAME Network. This included hosting an evening of poetry with Totnes based performance poet, Harula Ladd and a poetry writing workshop with performance poet, Angela ‘Poppy Seed’ Harvey. We also brought people together to celebrate a week of ‘Food from around the World’ at our Bayview restaurant, and delivered fruit and buns to 26 community sites across Torbay and South Devon.

Tanya White, one of our Physician Associates, talked to us about micro-aggressions, a term used to describe daily occurrences, whether intentional or not, that contribute to negative attitudes, false stigmas and ultimately discrimination towards ethnic minority groups, and advised how to avoid them. Other colleagues told us what Proud to be and Black History Month meant to them, and we had a list of Black Lives Matter reading courtesy of the library. Our LGBTQIA+ network highlighted that LGBTQIA+ liberation and equality had been led by black people such as Marsha P Johnson, and invited us to celebrate their contributions, and the contributions that black LGBTQIA+ organisations are making throughout the world.

We ended a month-long of activities with our Proud to be…An evening with Celebrity Chef Michael Caines MBE, Alexandra Ankrah from Health Education England, Dr Habib Naqvi, Director of the NHS Race and Health Observatory, and Tanya White, Physician Associate. The event, hosted by Sir Richard Ibbotson and Liz Davenport, saw esteemed guests sharing their stories and reflections on the theme of Proud to be with a Q&A session following afterwards. Watch our Proud to be event below.

We would like to thank everyone who took the time to participate and support this year’s Black History Month.