What is Black history? Black History has a different meaning to everyone but it is part of everyone's history. Typically, tragedies such as slavery and murdered activists fighting for equality are the talking points in Black History however, Black History is so much more than that and we all have a hand to play in positively contributing to the future of black history.
Photo: Dad and Sister Saffy 1987, Nigeria
On that note here is a little about our black history...
Our dad is Nigerian and from a little village in Mokwa, an area in Niger State. Our grandfather was a farmer here, the head of his village and was highly respected amongst his community; years later, I would recall telling school friends he was the king of his village, which technically made us princesses. Together with my grandmother, they had 7 children. We never met our grandparents as they passed while our dad was still small and he was raised by his eldest brother but this was not unusual and in fact "it takes a village" couldn't be a truer saying.
My dad describes the middle belt of Nigeria as having lots of green vegetation at the time due to plenty of rainfall and farmlands, therefor farming was a prosperous living to have at the time.
Dad gained a scholarship in 1977 to study Science in Scotland, being a black man in Glasgow at that time had its challenges but Dad felt he was mostly 'spared' of the racism and fell in love with Scotland and the people within it. He met our mum and they were married in 1981. Although interracial relationships and marriage were not unlawful in the UK it was only legalised in the US in 1967.
We moved to Nigeria in the '80s whilst Dad continued to study/work as a teacher. Our Mum was a domestic goddess; she would wash our clothes by hand in the bath with a bar of soap and mend everything and anything, hand me downs were the norm. She made bread in the morning for breakfast before school and we would go to the market to buy fresh ingredients. Life was hard but simple.
We often feel our continued minimalistic lifestyle comes from our lack of "stuff" when we were young."Buy what you need not what you want, even on special occasions".
Living in Nigeria as a child was nothing short of a dream, we played outside until the sun went down, climbed trees to pick mangos and grew our own vegetables such as yam and potatoes, we also boasted a chicken hut! Looking back we were an extention of farmers, modern day living off the land and cooking meals from what we grew. Mum re-created the most amazing Nigerian dishes she was taught by my dads family in the village and still passes them onto friends, family and neighbours today; Jollof rice, Moi Moi and Akara being some of many.
We are proud to say we come from farmers and proud of our African, black history, we are only one family, there are millions more with their own individual life stories.
Black History is not only the activists and those who made a historical change but also the black artists, musicians, farmers, doctors, nurses, scientists, teachers, campaigners, carers, politicians and everyone in-between who are still creating positive changes within black history, which is also part of your history.
Here are a couple of useful links with lots of useful and interesting information as well as events in honour of Black History Month for everyone to take part in.
As always Thank you for your continued support of our little food haven we have carved out!