Date of release: 21 October 2020
Receptionist Joanne Eldon is the next staff spotlight in our Black History Month celebrations!
So Joanne, what does Black History Month mean to you?
Black History Month means a lot to me as my parents endured a lot to be together and bring children into the world; it was not seen as the right thing to do for mixed couples to be in a relationship together.
My mum, who has lived in Wolverhampton all her life, had to leave her home and her family to be with the person of her choice because he was black, even though he too lived in Wolverhampton.
My dad, who is now is 90 years old, originates from Hanover in north west Jamaica and came to the UK in his 20s, and my mom is white British.
Fortunately her family did start to accept this after a long time.
There were only certain places my mom and dad were allowed to go as a lot of establishments wouldn’t allow black people on their premises.
Prejudice was very much around at this time, and also, because my mom is white, she didn’t have an easy time of it, but she didn’t let these people cloud her judgement.
For this I am very proud and truly grateful as my brother and I wouldn’t exist otherwise.
How important is it to recognise Black History Month?
It is important to recognise Black History Month because the more knowledge people have, the better understanding they will have and the more things will move on for the better.
I’m very proud to be part of the BAME community and I’m also very proud to see how attitudes have changed towards inter-racial / mixed relationships over the years. It’s wonderful to see just how many mixtures of relationships are around today – that shows how much things have moved on.
There is still a lot of improvement that needs to be made but we are definitely moving in the right direction.
As a BAME person, how have attitudes changed towards you over the years?
Attitudes have changed considerably over the years and are still changing and improving to this day.
I myself feel I have been very lucky as I have always been welcomed by people all through my life and not judged for my colour.
So attitudes have definitely changed for the better and I believe that this will only get better as time goes by.