Thoughts on Black History Month from Black entrepreneurs and creatives

21 oct. 2021

While February is the month of choice in America to celebrate Black history, October is the UK’s. A month of showcase and support, and frustratingly, still a month of education. This time around, we spoke to a few Black entrepreneurs and creatives in our network to find out how this #BHM is going for them, and how brands, businesses and allies can truly rally their efforts in the most conscious and authentic manner…


Chloe Pierre, founder of thy.self

“As a Black-owned business I don't feel as though the need is with us to celebrate Black History Month outwardly, as we do this everyday… just by existing.”

“I’d like to see more outreach going to smaller Black-owned businesses and organisations than the same 'big' and popular names. It happens every year and just adds to the performative bill.”

“I think there should also be more action taken, policies created and upheld instead of just pushing the same narrative as every other year, which is we support black people and businesses when in fact it's only during October that most feel the need to.”

“Black History Month to me, should really mean rest, recuperation, research and respect.”


Raphael Babalola, co-founder of Temple

“I would like to see us do more outside of Black History Month. I think it's great that we have this moment where there is a dedication to celebrating our history but how can we open this up to be monthly, maybe even every day? We all anticipate October like it's going to be our moment to shine, what if this was just our everyday experience?”

“I recently came across an opportunity with one of the major beauty and cosmetic high street retailers that are offering black-owned brands the opportunity to set up a pop up in their stores across the UK. I think that's an amazing initiative - I would urge more brands/retailers/businesses to really think about how they can use their platforms (inclusive of, but not exclusive to their online channels) to give Black-owned businesses a platform to have real-world interactions with consumers, buyers, shoppers.”

“Black history month to me, to Temple, is a celebration and reminder of our past, our role models, our achievements, our resilience and hope for a brighter inclusive future.”


Khalia Ismain, founder of Jamii

“Black History Month is already a really busy time of year for us, but this year we've got a lot going on: we're back in BOXPARK Shoreditch for another pop up shop next week, organising a number of marketplaces for corporate clients and we've just released the Black History Month edition of our Little Black Book.”

“It would be great to see more than just marketing campaigns, for example - use Black History Month as a jumping off point to look deeper into organisations and ensure that diverse talent is spotlighted, appreciated and promoted all year round.”

“I always leave room for flexibility in Black History Month as we get a lot of last-minute requests, but it would be great if we could start conversations about activations and events earlier than the first week of October as it takes a lot to pull them all together. Secondly, have a budget! We're still having to have conversations where we explain that it's not appropriate to ask us to work for free, especially during such culturally-important moments such as this.”

“I'm really proud of Black history - Black British history especially. Until recently it was barely told, and so we always made it a mission at Jamii to uncover those stories. It's a month when we're able to learn so much about who we are as a community, what we've been through and everything we've achieved.”