Black culture shines bright with these 5 role models giving voice to diversity

Check out these amazing, creative people of colour

Black culture may now be in the spotlight, though knowing where to go to help educate ourselves and our kids may be a little trickier.

However, thanks to the good folks over at Positive News, they have compiled a Top 5 list of resources that are shining a light on black culture in the UK.

Collating a diverse group of people and projects, they showcase the work of creative people of colour inspiring others to explore their heritage and give voice to their identity.

First up, is On Things We Left Behind.

[Podcast sisters Surer and Saredo Mohamed]

On Things We Left Behind is a story-driven podcast, by Surer and Saredo Mohamed.

The sisters, now based in the UK, explore the hidden afterlife of war following their lived experience as daughters of Somali refugees who moved to Canada.

During conversation, they question how leaving your country shapes the new life afterwards, while taking an in-depth look into the lives of those who must start again.

Next up is, Black Ballad.

[Black Ballad founder Tobi Oredein]

This UK-based lifestyle platform tells the human experience through eyes of black British women, proudly elevating voices through content, community and commerce.

Journalist Tobi Oredein, with pal Bola Awoniyi, launched the site in 2014 after growing tired over the lack of representation of black women, ‘on the pages and in the offices’.

The pair now explore a range of topics from mental health to careers to politics to dating.

Thirdly, we have Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé.

[Rising star Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé]

Aged just 21, the student secured a million-dollar book deal for novel Ace of Spades.

The story, which follows two black students at an elite private school, is a “love letter to black queer kids, black kids who love mysteries and thrillers, black kids who need hope, but most of all it is for black people to see that not only is it possible for us to get a happy ending regardless of what we’ve been through, but that we deserve them”.

She is already paving the way for book number two.

In fourth position, Derek Owusu takes the title.

[Derek Owusu with Stormzy]

This writer, poet and podcaster from north London, discovered his passion for literature at the age of 23 while studying exercise science at the University of Manchester.

While he could not afford to switch degrees, he began reading all he could lay his hands on and sneaking into English literature lectures at uni.

He went on to edit and contribute to Safe: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space; while his first solo work That Reminds Me won the Desmond Elliott prize in 2020. He also just released his debut non-fiction title, Teaching My Brother To Read, about exploring the power and meaning of books, and how reading can change your life.

Last but not least, Rocks.

[New film Rocks is being celebrated for its authentic casting]

Proving to be a hit on Netflix already, this film follows teenager Rocks, who fears that she and her little brother Emmanuel will be forced apart if anyone finds out they live alone.

Thanks to the help of friends, the siblings evade the authorities, in a story that celebrates the joy and spirit of girlhood.

The film is making waves for its authentic casting, with protagonists plucked from obscurity by filmmakers at their school, and positive Muslim culture portrayal.


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