Black History(FUTURE) Month

Black History month..hmmmm. Much like most of the things that concerns the African-American community and the black diaspora at large, I never knew that such a thing existed until I moved to the USA in 2012.  Fast forward few years later, at which point I had become slightly aware and little bit knowledgeable on some of the things that mattered to the African-American community through some college classes and minor interactions. The big question here though was how much did I care personally? the answer is little to nothing.

It didn’t concern me… I’m Nigerian, I’m African and my dad told me that the “Akatas”(Akata; a derogatory word used by Nigerians to describe African-Americans) describe  were not to be associated with, even though he was married to and has kids with one.

More time went by and I continued to learn, I became interested but only for the sake of having the knowledge. There was a disconnect and a lack of personal interest. Then came photography, I am so happy I discovered this beautiful art form. Photography has given me so much that I am grateful for and one of them is that it became my gateway to having a personal connection to Black History. There have been various discussions on the significance/insignificance of Black history month and both side have some validity. I personally think its very important to have that particular period of time where we get to heighten our voices as black people, we get to be a little more of everything……expressive, joyous, louder, prouder in all things concerning black people. It’s a month to remember, respect, pay homage and learn about our ancestors who paved the way and contributed to where we stand as a people in society today. While the past is very important , our present and all the possibilities of our  future is really what excites and connects me to this month.

Honestly this one has been underwhelming, I have not felt the Black history month spirit. At first I thought maybe cause I’m in the UK and they observe it in October but no, its because there are other things currently going on around us that the world deems more important. What I know for sure though is that in the heart of those who care, it was celebrated. Thats all that matters. 

I told myself I would visit some museum/gallery exhibits that were centered around Black art and while I did not completely fulfill this, I did visit some and boy were they beautiful. S/O to Alero Helena(@aleroart_ on IG) for curating a list. Here are the ones I visited;  

 “The Prelude” by kehinde WIley at the National Galllery.

“Between Me and You” by Photographer Bernice Mulenga (@Burneece on IG) at HOME by Ronan Mckenzie.

“so terribly far to go” & “BLK MOVEMENT” by artist Josh Woolford (@jshwlfrd on IG) at HOME by Ronan Mckenzie.

As a photographer I am obligated to myself and my audience is to tell a story, convey a message, share an emotion through my images and my hope is that just like those who came before me, during my time here I can contribute my own 2cents to the history and  future of my people.


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