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I Am #ProudToBe Lexi

In honour of BHM celebrations and commemorations, we’re sharing what this year’s theme, #ProudToBe means to our amazing colleague Lexi who has worked hard with us and inspires us continuously. Thank you, Lexi, for sitting down with me and being so open and honest!

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History to me is recognising black people before me and inspiring the present and the future to also make changes as they did. When I think about the past and how much they did, for my life and others around me to be a little easier, it’s such an empowering feeling. Many have died because they weren’t afraid to speak up and demand justice and equality.

Why is it important that we recognise and celebrate black history?

We must keep celebrating because, in society, we’re often told to ‘get over’ the events that have happened and what’s still happening with the Black Lives Matter movement. So it diminishes all the achievements and everything we as a race have overcome and are still trying to at present.

We need to keep on celebrating the hard work that has been put in – it’s also another positive way to educate those around us who don’t know our history.

What does the theme #ProudToBe mean to you?

#ProudToBe for me means I’m able to unapologetically be me! I don’t have to dilute myself to be accepted in society. I’m able to be a free black woman and not have to worry about others discriminating against me because of my skin colour, or what I do with my hair and how I come across. Being proud to be me is that I am loved and accepted the way I am.

What is your proudest achievement and why?

My proudest achievement is starting my very own black-owned business. Which I started at the very beginning of the first lockdown. It’s my biggest achievement to date. I’ve always wanted to do something like this but was always afraid to make that jump, and I am so glad I did!

What inspired you to feel proud and empowered?

What inspires me the most is when I see people who look like me on TV and in film. Including, seeing people around me who are using their voice, their talent, and their social platforms to make changes. I know the struggles of being a black woman first hand (and I also know the struggle for black men, including mental health) so when I see people like Marcus Rashford, Stomzy, Michaela Coel and other brilliant black people, it reassures me that if they can do it despite the challenges, I’m also able to do the same.