As Black History Month begins, Krystelle-Jade Edward-Stedford, Lambeth member of the Youth Parliament, asks what it actually means to be Black and urges young people to make their voices heard.
Yes, I am a 17-year-old African-Caribbean female. But what does it actually mean to be “Black”?
Isn’t Black just a term or label to separate you from me, or possibly join us together and segregate others unlike ourselves.
Society runs on these labels to limit minorities from achieving what they want to because of what’s skin deep.
Instead, we should be uplifted and encouraged for the person we potentially could be, rather than something that is unchangeable and what makes you … You.
And in this society those little differences deter us away from what actually matters and what we can actually do as a collective.
Remember that together we are stronger because, together, there is no minority.
In this day and age youths are pushed aside, (especially within politics) because we are not of value or important or we are not wise enough.
And that’s a lie. We are significant and we are powerful, and we can impact the world. We are youths as a collective, not youths as an individual.
That’s why I say I am not Black, I am a person who wants to be a representative of all, and so all voices are heard regardless of what is “skin deep”.
You are important! Why? Because you have the capacity to shape the future.
My job is to help and encourage you to be the change you want to see in the world.
I am the Member of Youth Parliament for Lambeth (MYP) and I have been trained to represent this borough in the House of Commons; and my main aim is to get YOUR voices heard. Whether it be in school, in Lambeth or on a national scale, I am here support you on your journey to greatness.
Recently, I made a speech at the Lambeth council meeting which was posted on YouTube and I began to explain my role in the Youth Council and that my main motivation, is the young people of Lambeth.
On 11 November MYPs from across the nation will sit in the House of Commons with the Speaker in the chair and debate topics chosen by young people.
This year I want to encourage as many young people to vote on what will impact your life as a youth. All you need to do is vote online at futuremi-event.info/event/makeyourmark. The vote closes at 10am on 5 October.
There are opportunities for young people aged 11–18 to become a part of the Youth Council or Youth Parliament. Anyone interested can go to the Lambeth Youth Council website or contact me by email if you have any enquiries, needs or support.
Please feel free to follow me on twitter @krystellejayde
I am Your Amplifier.