The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have launched a ‘Next Gen Trailblazers’ campaign for Black History Month which includes a number of rising stars from London.
The couple, who now reside in California, asked some of their high-profile friends and acquaintances to nominate black Britons they thought should be recognised for challenging prejudice and contributing positively to British life.
In an interview with the Evening Standard, Harry, who is sixth in line to the throne, said: “Now is the time to use our platform so we can actually start a conversation and introduce people to the Black community that are making a difference not only within their own communities but across the UK as a whole, so it’s a month of celebration.”
Who are the Next Gen Trailblazers?
There are twenty nominations in total, all recognising various achievements from academia to sport to art. Here are a few:
Dr Nicola Rollock, 47, was nominated by Baroness Doreen Lawrence, mother of Stephen Lawrence. Rollock is an academic and a public speaker, specialising in racial justice in education and the workplace. She also took part in the Channel 4 programme, ‘The School that tried to end racism’, which featured Glenthorne High School in Sutton.
Another trailblazer is Swarzy Macaly, a radio presenter on Kiss FM who has been chosen for her activism after the murder of American George Floyd which sparked the Black Lives Matter protests. Macaly has also campaigned for justice for the Grenfell Tower fire victims.
Lavinya Stennett, 23, from South London has been nominated for her social enterprise, ‘The Black Curriculum’, which works towards teaching Black British history to young people with a view to changing the way history is taught, in the national curriculum.
Henry Stone, 24, another South Londoner, was nominated by George The Poet. Stone is known for using spoken word to draw attention to mental health and social issues, and has performed throughout the country.
In an article they wrote for the Evening Standard, the Duke and Duchess said: “‘We cannot change history, nor can we edit our past. But we can define our future as one that is inclusive, as one that is equal, and one that is colourful.”’
Black History Month takes place every October in the UK.