The Black Lives Matter movement has achieved the unlikely. It has achieved a focus on the lives of black people, particularly in the USA and here in the UK. It even resulted in the UK Government commissioning a report on racial inequalities. The publication of the report of the “Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities”, the Sewell Report, was widely reviewed and criticised for its rejection of notions of institutional and structural racism. In simple terms, it suggested that those black people who have not succeeded have only themselves or their culture to blame.

The Black Lives Matter movement has led to a number of grassroots movements in the UK attempting to tackle endemic racial and class inequalities. In my own city of Derby, black women as local grassroots political organisers have developed a local movement and even proceeded to produce a Black Lives Matter Manifesto for Derby. Local black women have acted as key players in a movement for social change and have “got on board” the local council and many state, faith and voluntary organisations. Little by little progress is being made.

Larger scale hope of fundamental institutional and structural change is some way off. A progressive black movement needs social class issues to be at the fore.  This year’s recognition season would welcome the Co-operative Party in joining with us to celebrate Black history, culture, and achievements.