Gwynedd Council marks Black History Month 2020

Date: 06/10/2020
BHMWales_Logo-1024x379

Gwynedd Council is proud to celebrate Black History Month 2020 by calling for local residents to share their stories of how black people have made their mark on Gwynedd society in different ways over the years.

Black History Month has been celebrated in Wales and across the UK for more than 30 years as a way of recognising and celebrating black people’s contribution to all aspects of our culture and society.

This year, the history and contribution of Black people to Wales’ and UK’s society is being talked about more than ever before. Gwynedd Council is eager to ensure that black history is something that we are all more aware and proud of from now on.

Councillor Nia Jeffreys, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member who leads on diversity, underlined the importance of making sure that the events of 2020 live on in our memories and are a catalyst for the black history of Gwynedd to be shared and celebrated.

She said: “This year has been a watershed moment. It is shocking that it has taken the dreadful killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police officers for many to realise the systemic racism and lack of representation black people face today.

“If you scratch beneath the surface of any community, you’ll find racism and discrimination and Gwynedd is no different. We see instances of racism on our own doorstep and unfortunately this is the grim reality of everyday life for some people. The Covid-19 pandemic has also shone a spotlight on the unfairness of our society as some people suffer the effects more than others.

“People of all ethnicities, backgrounds and cultures have made Gwynedd their home for centuries, but very few are recorded or recognised in our history books. As other areas of the UK are doing, we want to right that wrong and I hope this initiative will be a step towards giving a more rounded view of Gwynedd. I have been inspired by the decision to celebrate the lives of inspirational black Welsh figures for instance headteacher Betty Campbell, I would love to learn about similar Black people in Gwynedd.

“The overall percentage of black or ethnic minority people may be lower than the national average here in Gwynedd but this doesn’t justify that many are unaware of our diverse history.”

Starting with Black History Month in October and continuing all year, the Council is asking people to send in their inspirational stories, photos and memories of black people – and others from other minority ethnic communities – who have enriched our communities in many ways. These will be collated electronically and will be kept as a foundation for future initiatives to celebrate Gwynedd’s diversity.

To contribute your thoughts, memories or stories to the collection, please send them to equality@gwynedd.llyw.cymru or contact us via our social media channels.