Hi. I hope you are well, especially in these very turbulent times.
Right now we’re standing in the middle of a turning point in history. Let’s be real, we already were, after all this is a global pandemic! But Black Lives Matter looks like it will be a movement that will create even more of an impact. A long lasting legacy that will change all of our lives, the way the law operates, the way we see the world and the way we behave towards each other. But also, it will change (and is already changing!) how we interact with history.
And as such, I think we need to talk about F Yeah History.
I’m a big believer that history education has the power to make you a better person. I know it’s made me a better person. History is essentially, just the story of people. Of us, all of us, all the good things our ancestors did and all the bad (and yes occasionally we whitewash the crap out of the bad – but I’ll get to that in a moment). Reading about history helps make you more compassionate, because it gives you insights into cultures and worlds you otherwise don’t have knowledge of. Now the bad side of that is unfortunately a lot of the history that isn’t straight or white, isn’t as easily accessible. It’s out there, but nowhere near as much as say, programmes and books on Henry VIII and his six wives. And that is a pretty big issue.
Now, I’m proud of the fact that F Yeah History bucks this trend a little bit and has a fairly healthy balance of history from all sorts of different communities. But I’ve known for a while now that it could be better. And that if it could be better, it should be better.
I’m not going to lie, it was the Black Lives Matter protests that really shot a rocket up my arse on this one, and made me realise that better representation isn’t something to go on my ‘to do list’, but a ‘need to do right now!’
So I want to commit to you that I will do better going forward. Here’s what I’ll be starting with:
There will be a set Black History section on the site
As of now, if you want to find our articles which specifically cover people and moments from black history, there is a new tag where you can find all of them in one place. They’ll still be on the homepage and also recommended after our other articles, but this way they will all be in one handy dandy place.
I’ll be re-writing some of our articles
If you have been with us a long time then you’ll know for the first year or so of F Yeah’s life the writing style was a, swear every other word, kind of deal. We’ve grown up, but for the most part I have left those articles as they are.
That means that our articles on icons like Moms Mabley, Marsha P Johnson and many more, can’t be used by teachers in their classes (because who knew school boards frown upon constant swearing in educational sources!). So I’m going to be taking out the naughty words, and also updating each one with more research, information and links to where you can read more.
This will not be an overnight process (because I am a one woman show for the most part, and I want to put time and care into each), but one I’ll be working on consistently.
I’ll be posting more black history focused articles
Now I’m not scheduling this, this will not be a ‘once a month its black history day!’ kind of deal (after all, this is not Hairspray). Black history is history and not to be reserved for a special day or month. It’s always.
I will be ensuring articles focussed on this area of history are more frequent. And do let me know if there is anything specific you’d like me to cover.
The F Yeah History YouTube
In the next few weeks I’ll be posting more chatty videos, which I hope will be a chance to sit down and discuss some of the big issues in history representation that The Black Lives Matter protests have bought up. For example, the toppling of slave trader statues, the heroes vs villains culture we have in history and how we handle uncovering the racist pasts of some of history’s most beloved icons after years of whitewashing.
In the long term, similar to the website, I’ll be ensuring I create more videos focussed on chapters and people from black history.
I want you to know that I’m committed to making this a better space for everyone going forward. And that also means you feeling free to call me out. I’m a person, I’ll make mistakes and I’ll learn from them when I do.
Please do let me know if there is anything else you’d like to see on the site.
Love you and speak soon