Celebrating Black History Month at Peldon Rose

Maryja Kimberley, Bid Coordinator Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Two people of colour with 'BHM' layered over them

In October 2022, we’ve been celebrating Black culture at Peldon Rose. We’ve embraced the people, businesses and food that embody Black culture and delved into its history. Here’s what we learned.

Black businesses need support

Black businesses don’t receive the same opportunity as their white counterparts. They receive less funding less often, with higher interest rates and have access to limited support. As a result, it’s harder to succeed and grow as a Black business owner than if that same person were white.

Forging partnerships with Black-owned businesses helps to open new avenues for Black people in business and build diversity and inclusion in from the beginning. Racial inclusivity doesn’t begin and end with hiring, it should reflect in your external stakeholders, suppliers and other partners, and customers too.

Black Owned London aims to make inclusion of marginalized businesses adoptable in your daily life. Broken down by location and business type, there’s bound to be a business you connect with and can support!

Soul food on the menu

Food is a pillar of cultural identity in Black culture. Spending time with loved ones, upholding tradition and looking after each other are all super important, and cooking is intrinsically linked. In this spirit, we held a cookoff at Sterling House.

Each contestant was given the same recipe for Jamaican Callaloo, accompanied by fried plantain and Trinidadian roti. The contestant with the most authentic dish took home the glory. Not all the ingredients for callaloo are readily available in any supermarket, so some searching in local markets was needed to achieve an authentic dish.

Black representation in art

As in the business world, Black artists and creatives also have a hard time getting a seat at the table. Black poetry takes a lot of its influence from soul music genres like gospel, blues, and rap, and has its roots in call and response.

Today, Black poets seldom receive the same exposure and promotion that white poets do. You’ll instantly recognise names like Edgar Allan Poe or Henry David Thoreau, but less so Langston Hughes or Maya Angelou. As part of our Black History Month celebrations, we learned about award-winning poet Sophia Thakur, read some of her poetry, and some of us purchased her book.

Celebrating Black History Month

We closed Black History Month on Friday 28 October 2022 with cocktails, karaoke, and music from Black artists. However, our work isn’t done. It’s important that we learn about and celebrate Black History year-round and help to lift our local Black communities up to make positive change, support the diverse cultures they do and foster opportunity and relationships both inside the workplace and in our daily lives.

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Detail shot of brown terazzo worktop with brown leather seating

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