'Black History Month shows opportunities for British society to improve'

10 October 2020, 17:37

By Seán Hickey

The brother of Stephen Lawrence, who was murdered in a racist attack, expressed the importance of Black History Month and pointed out the need to illustrate this as part of British history on the whole.

"We still have got a lot more to do," insisted Stuart Lawrence when asked about the commemoration of Black History Month.

He told David Lammy that during the celebrations, some schools are on half term and so education isn't as thorough as it could be.

Mr Lawrence went on to note that he is trying "to push forward a better agenda of how we can make this British history," rather than commemorating black British history on its own.

"When you reflect on the last forty or so years," David wondered, "do you think things have got better, what is your sense where the contribution of black people is in this country and the understanding of black people is in this country?"

"They have got better in some sort of sense," Mr Lawrence insisted, asking David whether "forty years ago would we have two black men on radio having this discussion?"

Stephen Lawrence was killed in a racist attack in 1993
Stephen Lawrence was killed in a racist attack in 1993. Picture: PA

He stressed that in the UK "we need to illustrate and demonstrate more of this," adding that "there are other contributions" black Britons have to make to contemporary British society.

David pushed Mr Lawrence, asking him what needs to be improved. He told David that an ideal place to start would be in further education.

He feared that "there's going to be a massive divide" in years to come as a result of university fees, separating those who can afford university and those who will have a massive debt hanging over them post-graduation.

Mr Lawrence noted that as a result of this "the representation of people in university has changed again," leading to third level education being less accessible to BAME communities.