October is Black History Month (BHM) in the UK so I took the liberty of throwing myself out there to find out exactly what our students think of BHM, asking whether they ‘celebrate’ the month, who their black role models are and why!

 Is BHM important to you?

“To me Black History Month isn’t as important as it should be, it is something that should be incorporated into EVERYDAY life! Are we supposed to feel special because we get one month out of 12? Erm, no!” –  Kanisha Warrican

“Black History Month is important to me because it highlights the achievements of black men and women that would otherwise be overlooked by mainstream academia.” – Jamal Tomlinson

” It helps us self-introspect and look at how far we have come.” – Vincent Blessing Regede

How do you celebrate BHM? 

“Personally speaking, Black History Month is less of a celebratory event but rather a time to reflect on and appreciate the triumphs of our ancestors.”- Jamal Tomlinson

“Black History Month is not something I celebrate, it’s not something that’s advertised or celebrated in my area. At school they would serve Caribbean food and that was about it.”- Kanisha Warrican

What stereotypes/barriers would you want to see broken in future BHMs?

The only barrier that springs to mind would be the ‘glass ceiling effect’, although black women are breaking into higher and better jobs and careers I feel as though this would have not been possible before and there is still some restriction, equality needs to be achieved on a higher scale.”- Rianna Carter

“As a black man the stereotypes I mainly wish to combat are those surrounding absent fathers and poor family structures.” – Jamal Tomlinson

After asking my fellow peers a few short questions, I decided to find out who their favourite black role models were. Over the years we have seen members of ethnic minorities break down barriers and achieve some amazing things, here are just a few we should look to for some inspiration!

Malcolm X





Malcolm X was an African-American Muslim minister and human rights activist. He fought for his people and pointed out the importance of tackling hate crime in America.


Everyone’s bey is known as one of the most famous singers in America. Recently, she and a few other of our fave celebrity names, including Rihanna and Pharrell, created a video outlining the violence taking place against black victims in America.

Martin Luther King

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.” – I think this one speaks for it self.

Rosa Parks

Known for refusing to give up her seat in the ‘coloured section’ of a segregated bus in America in 1955, Rosa Parks remains one of the most influential figures of the civil rights movement. 

So there you have it, a quick look at BHM from the generation of today as well as a some of the role models that continue to inspire us all. If you’d like to share your thoughts on BHM and want to be featured on our site then contact me at z.jussab1@aston.ac.uk – I look forward to hearing from you!

Stay tuned this month for some more great content!