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The Independent marks Black History Month

The Independent expands on its commitment to Black organisations and causes, marking Black History Month with extensive editorial, new documentary and free advertising.

The Independent marks Black History Month
Geordie Greig: “The Independent has a history of being on the side of minoritised groups and highlighting the good that people bring to their own communities and also our country overall.”

The Independent says it is marking Black History Month by launching an initiative to support and champion Black organisations and causes, with significant financial and editorial backing.

In a wide-ranging campaign, The Independent says it will be partnering with eight Black-led organisations in 2024, donating £120,000 of advertising space within The Independent to aid their efforts in enacting change. This builds significantly on last year’s programme, which ran over one month, and underlines the title’s commitment to making change happen across sectors including education, civil rights and health. To ensure these organisations see continued progress, The Independent will provide funding from the start of 2024 throughout the whole year, illustrating its dedication to achieving lasting change for Black communities. The Independent says the organisations partnering with them are as follows:

  • Black Equity Organisation — an independent civil rights organisation aimed at advancing justice and equity for Black people and communities in Britain.
  • Five X More — a grassroots organisation committed to changing Black women and birthing people’s maternal health outcomes in the UK.
  • Milk Honey Bees — a creative and expressive safe space for Black girls to flourish and put H.E.R (Healing, Empowerment and Resilience) first.
  • The Safety Box — a multi-award winning social enterprise that diverts young people away from violence creating pathways to employment.
  • Mentivity — an award-winning mentoring organisation and alternative educational provision that provides aspirational support for young people, schools and parents.
  • The Ubele Initiative — a organisation founded in 2014 empowering Black and racially minoritised communities globally.
  • The Black Curriculum — a social enterprise founded by Lavinya Stennett in 2019 to empower young people and educators across the UK to engage in Black British History 365 days a year.
  • Swim Dem Crew — a charity founded in the summer of 2013 whose mission has always been to get more people swimming, and making the sport more inclusive, less solitary and a lot more social.

To extend these organisations’ voices further, Nadine White, the UK’s first dedicated race correspondent, will be speaking to some of their leaders and co-founders to highlight their work in amplifying the rights, opportunities and achievements of Black people, added the publisher.

The Independent says editorial coverage will include interviews with television presenter, actor and comedian Lenny Henry; television presenter Charlene White; ITV weather presenter Alex Beresford; Irish author Emma Dabiri; beauty entrepreneur Jamelia Donaldson; editor-in-chief of Complex magazine Joseph Patterson; and director of Africa at Sony Music Taponeswa Mavunga. Their conversations will offer a spotlight on the advancement of Black communities and what still needs to be done to achieve equality.

Nadine and Roisin O’Connor, The Independent’s culture and lifestyle news editor, have curated a special Spotify playlist, Black History Month UK 2023, amplifying the best sounds by Black British musicians over the years from Janet Kay, Ezra Collective, Little Simz and Tippa Irie to Stormzy, Estelle, Shirley Bassey, Billy Ocean and more.

The Independent says it will also be hosting screenings of a brand-new film about the children of the Windrush generation. It today announces a new partnership with Picturehouse Cinemas to screen Nadine’s feature-length documentary Barrel Children: The Families Windrush Left Behind to secondary school children.

The film stars Blacker Dread, Evadney Campbell MBE and Neil Kenlock MBE and tells the painful story of Caribbean youngsters who grew up away from their parents who had moved to Britain and their stories of being reunited. The film is intended to foster learning of Windrush-related topics.

To close out Black History Month, The Independent will be hosting a gala lunch on 31 October, in conjunction with UK Black Comms Network, to celebrate Black achievement.

Black History Month began in the UK in 1987 and was founded to raise awareness of anti-Black racism and empower people to end it, and celebrate the contributions of British people with African and Caribbean heritage in the UK. Black History Month is an important moment in continuing to highlight the progress made, and the journey still to go, on how we can continue supporting racial equality. The Independent joins the organisation on its commitment of celebrating Black history not just in October, but all year round.

Geordie Greig, editor-in-chief, The Independent says: “The Independent has a history of being on the side of minoritised groups and highlighting the good that people bring to their own communities and also our country overall. We are so pleased to be at the forefront of promoting Black History Month with our emphasis on injustice as well as achievement.”

Nadine White, race correspondent, The Independent says: “I’m proud to be a part of our Black History Month editorial and advertising plans this year. October is a dedicated time for celebration of Blackness, reflection on important achievements plus the work that's yet to be done - and a space to reset. As the UK's biggest quality digital news brand, The Independent is committed to promoting positive change, highlighting important perspectives and being a part of solutions when it comes to equality."

Kamiqua Lake, founder and CEO, UK Black Comms Network says: “It's amazing to partner with The Independent to deliver on its commitment to support Black businesses and charities with much needed visibility. From centring and uplifting the Black experience in the UK, to supporting women, underrepresented communities and young people, it's clear that these organisations are vital. I'm delighted to be hosting a gala lunch with these innovative founders, UK Black Comms Network members and the editorial team at The Independent as we celebrate Black history in October, throughout 2024 and beyond.”

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