When I speak in Schools and Colleges on issues of diversity, inclusion and engagement, I have on occasion shown a BNP video in which a member of the BNP questions why black people have so many groups, organisations and representation such as the Black Police Association, Music of Black Origin, Black Nurses Association if they want to be part of British Society.
I typically ask the group whether the woman in the video has a point. At times this leads to a discussion at times people are hesitant to respond and I go on speak about some of the historical issues of exclusion of black people in British society around areas such as housing, work and even religion. Exclusions that often led black people to set up their own groups, churches and various organisations and societies.
It still leaves the questions as to whether these set ups are still needed today. After all, that was then this is now. In fact a few weeks ago I ended up in an extended discussion with someone about this at the Royal Society of Arts. Sometimes I also begin to question the relevance of such ‘structures’ today.
Then we get to the awards season for the entertainment industry – focused on America, but with Global implications. Throughout the season to date frustrations have been expressed about the limited representation of black artistes in various award categories regardless of their achievements.
At this point I believe it becomes difficult to challenge the structures that represent black achievement, advancement and goals. (Unless you can convince me that this is just an American issue)
Susan Popoola runs Conning Towers Ltd, an HR organisation focused on Talent Management and HR Transformation and Engaged For Success a Social Enterprise. She is also the published author of Touching The Heart of Milton Keynes: A Social Perspective and Consequences: Diverse to Mosaic Britain. She is also Winner Women4Africa Author of the Year 2013
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