By the Editor: Simba Smp
Over the last few years the title BAWR has increasingly become synonymous with year end awards, black empowerment, partying and networking in glitzy venues. Resultantly a sizeable amount of those conscious of the Black empowerment movement in the UK have become aware of this self styled women empowerment platform. But the question to ponder is how many people actually know the ongoing day to day operations of the brand during the course of the year. The year end awards event recognising outstanding Afro people is what stands out but unfortunately the more important day to day deeds of this organisation still seem to go unnoticed. In this article we want to articulate some of those unheralded efforts and give a general insight on why it is important to support black empowerment initiatives.
Black African Women Rock (BAWR) is constantly looking at means and ways to push on with the black empowerment agenda in general, but the primary focus actually remains on empowering black women. The organisation seeks to motivate and inspire women who lack confidence to follow through their dreams. BAWR also provides a platform to network, share and advertise projects/business.
Due to the ever changing environment we never endorse a standstill approach but we constantly embrace new ideas and methods to reach out to our people’s psyche. In-line with embracing new methods of reaching out to our target populace, we are increasingly using our site to educate, advise and share knowledge. Currently we are in the process of introducing four new sections on our website, namely;
Generally black people should be encouraged to support fellow black businesses as other racial communities do and discourage undermining each other. Unlike other races and cultures — such as the Jewish, Indian and Chinese communities, which vigorously support one another’s businesses — black-owned business don’t get the same support within their own community. I believe that for Black owned businesses to start standing out we need the help of the Black Afro Population. In the BAWR Business column we aim to put articles, ideas and testimonies to enlighten and encourage those willing to take the plunge into business
Plans are currently underway for BAWR to resume working with small to large scale suppliers in Africa. Though it is still too early to divulge further details, we are looking forward to be showcasing goods produced by real African women on the ground in Africa onto our site. The whole idea is to empower African women whilst acting as a gateway for them to the UK market and customers worldwide. Watch this space!! It looks like this business section will be busy for real, so stay tuned!
Even though we are a minority in the UK, it is clear that we seem to have more need of the knowledge of how the UK law system works. Evidence on the ground also indicate that Afro people constantly get entangled with the legalities in foreign lands. Every month we will cover various topics about the law and as you might guess.., yes immigration advice!
A careful analysis of the black community shows that most black people do not really care to follow or appreciate their backgrounds. Perhaps this could be blamed on the UK curriculum that does not teach a bit deeper than what it should. As black people we should be able to define ourselves in our own terms, not in the terms of our former colonisers or slave masters. We believe there is an important chunk of black education awareness lacking in our people, hence the obvious self hating and the exhibition of undermining Africa our motherland. As they say, you do not know where you are going until you know where you are coming from. In the education column we aim to bring various subjects to help boost confidence, respect, understanding and remove the inferiority complex in African people. I also personally believe that in order to make clear the relationship between Africa and the present day Caribbean people we need to highlight a bit of our past (black history before slavery). So watch this space!!
This section undertakes health matters, initiatives and advice. In the long term we will have specialist health professionals to raise awareness, give advice and inform. This is necessary because there is clear evidence of under representation of early presentation from minority communities to GP’s in relation to long-term health issues that disproportionately affects Afro people, eg- mental health issues, diet, cancer, physical fitness, etc.
We hope to continue dishing out our end of year awards as it serves as the icing of the cake. But the actual cake should always be the organisation’s day to day initiatives and the outstanding individuals who are making a difference in the community.
Among its list of objectives, BAWR aims to redress the negative effects of a previously marginalised community. It is generally common knowledge that black people still suffer more prejudice than any other racial community, hence the need for a supportive positive platform to build confidence. It is worrying that up to this day the effects of slavery and colonialism still play havoc with our mindsets. BAWR aims to play a part in dismantling the inferiority complex that has accumulated unabated over the course of history. If we are to completely eradicate this mind weakening bug we need to make people aware of where we are coming from in order plan for the future. For now the struggle continues, but together we can make it!!