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Black History Month - Tolani Tijani

Black History Month - Tolani Tijani

Date of release: 28 October 2020

Latest News: Tolani Tijani

Say hello to Staff Nurse Tolani Tijani – she’s helping us to celebrate Black History Month 2020.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History Month is an annual event in which people of African and Caribbean descent remember and celebrate their achievements and contributions to the development of Britain.

Black History Month should be celebrated as it does not only acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of black people in Britain, but its celebration also helps to preserve and foster the understanding of black history in general.

How important is it for all people to recognise Black History Month?

It is of utmost importance for everyone to recognise Black History Month as the annual festival has helped to increase the understanding of the African and Caribbean culture while promoting collections, exhibits and resources.

Recognising and celebrating us also gives us the opportunity to tell our own stories and correct misconceptions and ugly racial stereotypes associated with the black race.

As a BAME person, how have attitudes changed towards you over the years?

I came to the UK from Nigeria about 11 months ago and I can say that British people are amazing.

It wasn’t so easy initially as my name was a bit difficult for my colleagues to say.

I also heard a lot of people saying ‘pardon?’ or ‘what? Or ‘say that again’ because of my accent, but now, my colleagues have learned to pronounce my name properly and they also eat some of my food with me while complimenting me how tasty it is!

They understand and accommodate my preferences as regards my choices based on cultural differences. My colleagues even asked me to give them African names which were written on their gowns.

I now also say ‘terrah a bit’ (instead of goodbye) and ta (instead of thanks). It’s honestly been amazing. #BlackHistoryMonth

A Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham