I’m certain Black History Month rings a bell. Wether it reminds you of the US version annually celebrated in February. Or the UK version version during the month of oktober. The point is that there’s an instant recognition. However, I wonder if Black Achievement Month (BAM) has the same impact. My guess is that it doesn’t.
As per usual, with regards to the dialogue of being Black, Black excellence, Black history in any way, the US and/or the UK experience is continuously put at the center of it. And I get it, because in a way they have a monopolizing presence. Even in the Netherlands, US and UK based music dominate the charts. So do US and UK based tv-shows, movies and so forth. I do it to. One clear example are my discoveries each week, the majority are non Dutch.
Resulting in the lack of acknowledgement to the Black history of the Netherlands. As well as the false perception that there’s no such discourse in the Netherlands. Not just resulting in the mislead and incorrect notion that great Black Dutch artists, writers, directors, models and so forth aren’t non-existent. More over also the minimization of the importance and impact of the Dutch Black history. In the past as well as in the present. Which is quite ironic. Considering that the main take away message from the UK and the US, is that past events still very much influence the way our society operates today. The way the structures are set up and the amount of access that is allowed to those vast institutions.
In an effort to reclaim this false narrative, to give Black Dutch history the recognition and the awareness it deserve, the National Institute for the study of the Dutch Slavery and it’s Legacy (NiNsee) has initiated Black Achievement Month (BAM).
Black Achievement Month
Kind of the Dutch version of the Black History Month and I’m all the way here for it. Allocating the whole month of October to slavery, the Dutch slave trade and it’s legacy in the current Dutch Society. Creating room and space for story telling through music, dance, theater and so much more. Including putting the main focus on Dutch Black excellence. In an effort to give those who are at the fore front of their much deserved recognition. From the 29th of september to the 29th of oktober, spread over the three main metropolises of the Netherlands; Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Den Haag. October will be host to over 30 occasions, dripped in melanin splendor.
Obviously I’m aware you won’t be able to make all of the events. The goal of this article was to put BAM on you radar. Make you aware of it’s existence, what it has to offer and giving you the opportunity to try something new. This might be exactly what you’ve been waiting for, consciously or unconsciously. With that in mind and on the account of how important I feel, I’ll doing my part in spreading the BAM awareness. Besides actually visiting a couple of events, particularly looking forward to the Black Achievement Award on the 29th of oktober. All the ‘discovery of the week’ and the ‘MonYAY playlist‘ will be in light of BAM.
Oktober has just begun and with BAM, it can’t possibly be anything short of an amazing month. Let me know which events you plan on visiting. We might run into each other. How much fun would that be? Make sure to follow me in Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to not miss out on anything BAM related this week and all things ‘Le Monde d’Alida’ in general 😉