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30 October 2020

Throughout October, we’ll be showcasing a series of blogs to mark Black History Month, giving a range of perspectives from the London Youth team and our board.

These days I feel really comfortable talking about my race, but when I was younger it was a different story. People used to take the mick out of me, treat me differently and give me weird looks. Especially where I grew up in Surrey, they looked at me as if I didn’t belong there. It made me feel very bad at the time.

As I got older, I learned not to care what people think. Throughout Black History Month, hearing about all the amazing heroes it really shows me where I come from… I come from greatness.

There are amazing stories to tell from the past: Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X. I watched Harriet Tubman’s movie this month and it really showed me how powerful her story was, and the things Black people have been through to get where we are today. But black history continues to be made every day, even right now. Black history needs to be celebrated everyday not just in October. There are so many amazing black entrepreneurs, authors, and so much more to celebrate and that really shows how far we’ve come. 

It’s a journey that still continues for young Black people in 2020 as we have to learn that we are great, and we can do anything we put our minds to.

Jo Ash headshot

So now, I really keep my head up and know I am a proud Black man. And when the time comes that I have my own children, I’ll make sure I instil the same things in them.

That’s why I always look forward to Black History Month; it’s a time to share so many different people’s stories, and there’s a lot of power in that.

Jo-Ash is a member of our Youth Advisory Board and currently sits on the London Youth Board of Trustees as a young advisor.

You can find out more about our Youth Board here.