Ashely On... The Importance of Black History Month

Ashely explains how some people may feel isolated due to the colour of their skin, and why that makes Black History Month all the more important.

Moving to Scotland made me realize how unavoidably skin tone or colour matters. The skin is a cover to a book you cannot open until you find the key for yourself. It is a boundary, my boundary, and a boundary for others.

Hello, I'm Ashely Gore, a 16- year-old published author and environmentalist!

Imagine being the only brown-skinned person in a vibrant crowd. How does that feel?

Being a minority at my school has been a rollercoaster, some days are sunny and some cloudy. It is hard to breathe sometimes, but it is alright, the situation has taught me to appreciate my brown colouring.

Black History Month

Rooted in the solidarity of the anti-racist movement, Black History Month is a time and opportunity for young brown people like me to campaign and raise awareness on issues of Black history and present-day racism. This includes highlighting the histories and legacies of empire, colonialism and slavery that continue to shape Scottish society. Black is my chlorophyll, the browner my skin is, the sweeter I am.

Becoming the only black patch in a room might feel like isolation. The isolation is not imposed but naturally erupts, it feels like looking at the same concrete walls. Nonetheless, the community has been supportive and accommodative in countless ways, looking at the fact that it is a foreign land with a welcoming, cooperative community.

Being Black or Brown is a form of isolation. It is lonely, yet I found a survival strategy, the art of surviving in the isolation is the best shape possible solution. I found that if I could be conscious of my heritage and beautiful melanin, I could start to ask myself to make better choices for myself, the black community, my heritage and future generations.

I am proud to be part of Black History.

Asheley with a sign saying Black History Month

More information

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Young Scot supports young people to share their own voices, views and opinions and works with partner organisations and professionals who are experts in different topics. The views expressed in this blog are those of the young people, organisations and/or individuals who have taken part in the blog, not necessarily the views of Young Scot.