October is Black History Month in the UK and we are looking for contributions from young writers as part of our campaign, Making History.

2020 has seen the biggest civil rights marches and protests in decades, following the killing of George Floyd in May. The Black Lives Matter movement has also encouraged sometimes difficult and complex conversations among friends, family, policy-makers and the media. In the UK, this often means addressing our history, raising important questions about how we remember our past – and who is memorialised through monuments and history books.

The narrative of history is usually shaped by those who write it. This has meant the lives and contributions of Black Britons are all too often overlooked. As part of Black History Month, we want to address this through our Making History campaign by shining a light on history-making Black Brits and encouraging people to question how history is created.

That’s where you, our readers and writers, come in.

We want you to write about a Black British individual who is ‘making history’ in some way. In other words, who will be in our history books in 100 years’ time?

They might be someone you know and admire personally, in your family or community, a celebrity or public figure.

Alternatively, you can write a response to the brief ‘making history’.

Some questions you might want to consider:

– Who decides which figures and events make history? How do we make this process more democratic and representative?

– Is Black British history overlooked in the UK curriculum?

– How does Britain’s history affect its contemporary relationship with race and anti-Black racism?

– How can we most effectively remember and recognise the contributions of Black Britons, historically and now?

– Why did 2020 become the year in which the biggest anti-racism protests in generations took place? How will this period be remembered in the next generations’ history books?

– Are our politicians equipped to tackle racism? Does history tell us politicians in the UK can and do affect change on these issues, or that change has to be grass-roots led?

– How will the Black Lives Matter movement be remembered in 50, 100 years’ time?

– What has been the biggest impediment to tackling anti-Black racism in the UK, historically and now?

We hope to publish contributions from writers from all backgrounds. Contributions from Black writers are particularly welcome.

For more information or to submit an article, email editor@bbench.co.uk or fawcett@bbench.co.uk

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