Black History Month Community Spotlight - Laitan Alabi
Laitan Alabi works at One Walsall as a Funding Officer.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
To me, it means nothing. I am a naturalised British citizen, however, I lived in Nigeria for the first 18 years of my life, the impact of living in a country where I am part of the majority (Nigeria is majorly Black people) makes me indifferent to BHM. This is because I know what my history is, I was raised around my history, I don’t need one month in a year to remind me of my history.
However, to a Black person born in the UK, it means something, I can understand the need for BHM for them, but I surely do hope those individuals don’t wait until one month each year to learn their history.
What does it mean to you to be Black and British?
I love it! It’s awesome.
Who inspires you?
An old colleague of mine Joel Blake, who was recently formally elected as President of the Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce, a division of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce. You can read more about him on his LinkedIn page and on the GBCC linked in page. Then, of course, there is Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and my mother.
What are your hopes and aspirations for the future?
That more Black people are represented in places of power and the narrative of Black History is changed from that which often focuses on slavery and struggles, to one that often tells our victorious stories. This has an immense impact on the community, especially the children.
What do you think would make Walsall a better place?
The government taking a genuine interest in improving Walsall, just like they have done and are doing with Birmingham. This involves huge capital investments and extensive campaigns to encourage equality and tourism, amongst other things.