They revealed — with the Evening Standard — their list of BHM Next Gen Trailblazers, recognised for challenging prejudice and their positive contribution to British society. The people were nominated by high-profile figures from the BAME community, including England and British Lions rugby star Maro Itoje, Vogue editor Edward Enninful, Olympic boxing champion Nicola Adams, and Booker prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo, who have inspired Harry and Meghan with their actions.
"We must end structural racism in Britain"— Evening Standard (@EveningStandard) October 1, 2020
Harry and Meghan spoke to @eveningstandard exclusively about their new campaign for Black History Month.
Watch the full video here ⬇️ #BHMNextGenTrailblazers pic.twitter.com/YjjOCEzPWr
Harry described his own “awakening” to the lack of opportunities for people from the BAME communities since he met Meghan:
“... I wasn’t aware of so many of the issues and so many of the problems within the UK and also globally as well. I thought I did, but I didn’t. You know, when you go in to a shop with your children and you only see white dolls, do you even think: ‘That’s weird, there is not a black doll there?’ And I use that as just one example of where we as white people don’t always have the awareness of what it must be like for someone else of a different coloured skin, of a black skin, to be in the same situation as we are where the world that we know has been created by white people for white people.”
For as long as structural racism exists, there will be generations of young people of colour who do not start their lives with the same equality of opportunity as their white peers. And for as long as that continues, untapped potential will never get to be realised.
If you are white and British, the world you see often looks just like you — on TV, in media, in the role models celebrated across our nation. That is not a criticism; it’s reality.
Many recognise this, but others are not aware of the effect this has on our own perspective, our own bias, but also the effect it has on young people of colour.
For people of colour and specifically for young black Britons, the importance of representation in all parts of society, of seeing role models that share the same colour skin as them, and seeing and reading stories of success and of hope from those who look like them, is absolutely vital in opening doors of opportunity.
Not only that, but representation in positions of power and decision-making is necessary — because that’s how equity and opportunity are translated from words to action.
Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4.