Celebrating Black History Month 2020
5th October 2020
As we celebrate Black History Month this October, we would like to take the opportunity to honour the accomplishments of some of our amazing talent. The following people are leaders in their field and an inspiration to many.
Akala is a historian, author, social entrepreneur, poet, BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip-hop artist and co-founder of the Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company. Akala garnered plaudits for his acerbic, politically spiced rap, and has since expanded through his writing and historiography. His book, the semi-autobiographical Natives — Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire (2018), won widespread critical acclaim for its analysis of the racist and socially destructive legacy British Empire both at home and abroad.
Sharmadean Reid MBE is an entrepreneur who founded Beautystack and WAH Nails. Her mission is to use technology to empower women, economically, socially and culturally. Reid also is an advisor to charity Art Against Knives (to train women from disadvantaged backgrounds to be professional nail artists). Speaking about equality and women empowerment Sharmadean has pointed out: “We have to think about creating work environments that welcome people who don’t fit the stereotype. It’s up to leadership teams to make this change. All parties have to come together to acknowledge the old way hasn’t been working and create a new future.”
Raphael Sofoluke is an entrepreneur showcasing the best of black business to the world. He is the founder & CEO behind the UK Black Business Show, which has showcased over 200 black-owned businesses and has attracted more than 2000 attendees. He has also recently launched the Black Tech Achievement Awards, sponsored by J.P. Morgan, to celebrate and acknowledge black role models and innovators within the tech sector and to help illuminate the pathways to greater representation of the black community within the industry.
Steven Bartlett is a 28-year-old founder & former CEO of Social Chain – a leading, global team with a track-record for leveraging owned media, technology and insights to build brands that earn a meaningful share of people’s lives. Steven is very outspoken about equality and social issues: “As an entrepreneur, speaker, and investor, I want to use my influence for good. I’m mindful of the many causes that need attention in this world. ”
Eunice Olumide MBE is an international model, broadcaster, curator & campaigner. She has recently said: “Education is the silver bullet for rewriting black history – but real action from grassroots to government must follow”. She is quoted as a ‘philanthropist’ running youth groups and classes throughout the UK. In 2018 she released her best selling book ‘How To Get into Fashion’ which highlights her work in preventing exploitation, sustainability and diversity in the Fashion industry.
Emmanuel Jal, who was forced to become a child soldier in South Sudan, was rescued by a British aid worker and smuggled out of the country. He’s now a recording artist with a unique message and often speaks on the importance of understanding and education in efforts to spread peace. Emmanuel has started the My Life is Art community, which harnesses a commitment to self development with daily practices that aligns purpose, vision and mission.
Kudzi Chikumbu has recently been named as Forbes “40 under 40”. He is director of creator community at TikTok & advocate for diversity & inclusion. Kudzi was the initiator of TikTok’s #MakeBlackHistory Creator Summit, saying: “It’s always important to us to recognise, uplift and invest in those on our platform who are driving culture and creativity … it’s important to us that we are celebrating the diverse voices that exist on the platform”.
Ozwald Boateng OBE has been revolutionising menswear fashion with new and original aesthetics from Savile Row for over three decades. Most recently, to celebrate the Centenary of British Airways, Ozwald has been tasked with reimagining the uniforms for their 32,000 worldwide uniform wearing employees.