Yeshua Carter, a young consultant from EY, provides his view of the historical context and importance of Black History Month

“A man without knowledge of himself and his heritage is like a tree without roots”…I remember reading this quote from actor and activist, Dick Gregory, and realising the importance that someone’s heritage plays in the development of their identity. It demonstrated that once you gain an understanding of your heritage, it grants you with deeper insight into who you are and the contributions that your culture has played in shaping the very world we live in. It is also an enlightening experience to understand how your heritage played a significant role in black history, which sadly a lot of young people in todays generation is unaware of. I realised this when I asked a group of young black men – what is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Black History Month and there was unanimous response…Slavery. Sadly, this demonstrates the lack of knowledge around the black excellence that threads through the fabric of our history. This moment also made me realise the importance of Black History month and foregrounded the necessity of educating people (especially the younger generation) on the greatness that runs through the veins of black heritage. What should the true response be when people ask ‘what comes to mind when you think of Black History’? Is it the royalty that threads through our lineage, or the social activists who inspired political change? Or should we mention the innovative inventors who transformed the way the mechanics of our society operates today. There are so much more things to reference – but this is just a small glimpse into the significant role that black people have played throughout history to help positively pave a way for the past, present, and future generation.

It’s a privilege to work as a young black consultant to help shape the way the working world embraces diversity of black talent and creates culturally competent environments that encourages us to become agents of change in our fields of work, to not only help add to the tapestry of positive story’s that will be embedded in black history – but within human history.