Black History Month

In October, I spoke in the Black History Month debate in the Chamber of the House of Commons where I used the opportunity to pay tribute to the many untold stories of Black Britons of African and Caribbean descent who for many generations have made significant contributions to our society but deserve much greater recognition.

I celebrated the enormous contribution that Black British people have made and continue to make in shaping our society. However, I also recognised that there is more to be done in recognising, exploring and paying tribute to their contributions to society.

As a member of the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art, I'm also involved in discussions about improving the diversity of representation and inclusivity in the Parliamentary art collection. Rather than seeking to remove works of art from display, I have encouraged an open and transparent approach to reviewing the artwork, in which reinterpretation is a key part of the approach, so that the artwork can become an educational resource and make a significant contribution to the overall appreciation of Black History.

I am very pleased to have contributed to this debate in the House of Commons. Black History Month deepens our understanding of how the study of history should address the past and should be taught across the UK. And above all, it reminds us and emphasises that people of all races in this country have a shared history and a shared future together.