Black History Month is not only a time to look back and take note of how far we have come, it provides us with an opportunity to celebrate the work and success of black people within the present time.
As BHM is coming to an end I wanted to take the time to acknowledge the work of some of the entrepreneurial, creative, hardworking and influential black young professionals that I find inspiring.
Note: All are under 25!
1. REVIVAL by Lola
As a new graduate with a keen interest in the fashion Industry, Lola founded REVIVAL in Summer 2016. Revival is a fashion ‘reconstruction’ brand centred around bespoke fashion, textile waste and innovation. They offer three main clothing services: alteration, customisation and full reconstruction as well as seasonal collections constructed from discarded clothing and textiles.
You can find out more by following the below:
2. Ekua Haizel
Founded in 2014 as a charity, Ekua Haizel is now a start-up that focuses on creating a community and sense of cultural identity for Black British millennials by allowing them to contribute more effectively to the rising African legacy.
Their flag ship conference ‘Africa on The Rise’ is a panelled discussion that highlights the current topics in Africa and the role of the diaspora in combatting them. The next one will be held on December the 9th where the focus will be on the role of the diaspora in challenging the stigma of mental health in Africa. In addition to this Ekua Haizel provides opportunities for Black British individuals (18-30) to go to Africa for internships in various fields of their choice. This is currently being piloted in Ghana.
You can access more information and further details about upcoming events on their website www.ekuahaizel.com.
Alternatively socials are as follows:
3. Emmanuel – Developer and Entrepreneur
Emmanuel is a computer engineering graduate that has built over ten profitable applications during his time at university, whilst working with a group of fellow programmers. He is currently working to help solve the problem of patient records being stored on paper in West Africa by accelerating the transition to an electronic data driven healthcare system. The aim is to help healthcare facilities go digital with highly intuitive Electronic Healthcare Records (EHR)/Health Management Information Systems (HMIS).
Below are some of the exciting projects that he has been involved with:
For more information please visit http://emmanuelabiola.github.io/#/home
Founded by 3 ambitious undergraduate female students in 2015. VAMP is a Social Marketing Agency that focuses on engaging clients and creating memorable experiences. With clients such as The University of Arts London and Smashbox UK, VAMP continues to grow and push boundaries within its industry. The regularly put on amazing events like the one below…
Recently launched by 23 year old Automation Analyst, FlowTV was established from the realisation that unlike Grime and Rap artists; soul, neo soul, jazz, funk, indie pop, spoken word and alternative artists do not have the same readily available and recognised platforms (such as GRM Daily, Link Up TV and SB TV for Rap and Grime artists). This is where FTV comes in, they will be that platform.
‘FTV – Your Talent Our Platform’
Follow FlowTV at:
6. “The Real Man” Series
Nina created “The Real Man” Series as part of a social change project that was aimed at giving men the voice and confidence to reshape masculinity. This is what she said…”Ads are as equally unrepresentative for men as they are for women. The difference is men don’t feel as compelled to speak out, because traditionally that’s not what ‘men’ do. It is especially difficult for men of colour. It’s time to change the rhetoric and address how the media has been perpetuating the ‘be a man’ narrative for far too long. The media are also reinforcing a trope that doesn’t allow room for emotion, open conversation, and vulnerability in men, so… I sat down with eight men of colour to discuss what it really means to ‘be a man’. A conversation to start the conversation, to depict the intersectionality of men. It explores individual definitions of what being a man means and how it evolves and changes as experiences do.”
Here are the links to the series so far, but please stay tuned as more will be released:
7. Esther – Singer/Songwriter
Esther is a singer/songwriter that begun taking guitar lessons in year 4 being inspired by hearing others perform and wanting to be able to do the same. She wrote her first song at the age of 11. She loves to write because it allows her to share her own personal experiences along with the experiences of those around her including family and friends. Alongside this she is BA and MSc Philosophy graduate.
Listen to a snippet of one of her original songs below:
To hear more you can follow her on Instagram @ https://www.instagram.com/__esta
I wanted to write this post because I believe it is important to celebrate the success of others and foster collaboration instead of competition. But to also encourage others to follow their dreams and be the person that they truly wish to become.
As Dan Lok said “Hell on earth is meeting the man or woman you could have been.”