Black Lives Matter? Hillingdon Council vote against Black History Month

Jacob Webb

On Friday, 16th July, the ruling Conservative group on Hillingdon Council voted down a Labour motion calling on the Council to celebrate Black History Month.


Over the past few months, The Black Lives Matter movement have called for public education on Black History to help address society’s racial injustices. It is in this context that at the Hillingdon Council meeting on 16th July, Cllr Peter Curling, leader of the Labour group, brought forward a motion for the borough to re-introduce its Black History Month.


13 years ago, the Council got replaced its black history month with a local history and heritage month. In his motion, Cllr Curling said that the Council needed to recognise “that history needs to be kept in context, but give an honest account of events, even if it is a negative aspect of our history, and that a truthful, ‘warts and all’, account of history contributes much more towards our learning and our Civic pride, than re-writing history to either ignore the negative aspects or try to expunge them from existence.”


The ruling Conservative group voted down the motion on the grounds that the Council shouldn’t merely educate its residents for a month every year about the "fantastic contribution" of Hillingdon’s BAME communities, rather "celebrate and educate throughout the year". 


Responding to the result, BLM Hillingdon said they were “appalled and disappointed by the votes as Black History is part of British history”. Hayes and Harlington MP John McDonnell said he hopes “Hillingdon's Conservative Councillors will reconsider their decision in the light of the BLM campaign. Surely we have all learnt lessons now on the need to appreciate and celebrate black history."


BLM Hillingdon will be continuing to campaign against the racial inequalities in the borough. On Sunday (2nd August), they are holding a peaceful demonstration outside the Civil Centre, Uxbridge. All are welcome to join.

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