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BHM: A month of celebration, but then what?

Look out for our black future history special

21 October, 2021 — By Richard Osley

MORE than a third of the residents in Camden are from a black and minority ethnic background, but you might not always know it from the pages of our newspaper each week.

The New Journal does its best to be a socially-conscious publication – and we don’t really care if we will be tagged with that weary and wholly suffocating catch-all label “woke”. But even so, you would not say that a third of all the faces in the photographs staring out of these pages come from these minority backgrounds.

While one of our co-founders – back in 1982 – is a black woman, our news­room has had a similar lack of representation over the years; reporters on nearly all of the UK’s papers will be predominately white and often middle class.

The media is not alone, of course. The racial injustice protests of last year showed that the problem is hard-wired into the system – organisations, institutions and perhaps worst of all the power-holding offices of government are all by and large run by a sea of white faces.

The Labour group which has ruled Camden for nearly all of the past five decades has never had a black cabinet member and was only this year celebrating its first female black mayor.

There are, then, structural problems and challenges for us all to overcome. And that’s why our Black History Month coverage, which has been running through October, is a little bit different this week.

On each page you will see a familiar face from Camden who has made a break­through.

And in a special feature (pages 16, 17 and 18 ) a series of young black people from our readership areas talk about the future as much as the past, and how they aim to break down the barriers.

They are the black history makers of the future.

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