Updated: Jul 31, 2020
This month has seen continued Black Lives Matter protests and further questioning of police brutality, in addition to all the 2020 craziness that hasn’t seemed to stop. July has also seen a number of great stories of triumph and success in the Black community. Here are just a few stories that made us smile this month.
Medical student creates handbook of clinical signs on black and brown skin
Malone Mukwende, a second-year medical student at St George’s University in London, has created ‘Mind the Gap’ a handbook documenting clinical signs on black and brown skin after noticing he was only taught about clinical signs and symptoms on white skin.
Malone shared, “I first started noticing this problem when I was in my first year of university. Often we would get taught signs and symptoms on white skin but I knew this wouldn’t entirely translate in the same way on my type of skin. Often the textbooks we would use as a reference, would often just show the symptoms on white skin.”
An example given in the handbook is Kawasaki disease, a condition that mainly affects children under the age of 5. One of the characteristic symptoms of the disease is a rash, which would show up differently on white skin than darker skin.
Malone hopes his handbook will help tackle the issues of patient satisfaction within the BAME community, stating; “I feel like this handbook will help with patients satisfaction the patients will be able to relate what they are seeing on the screen because doctors are showing them symptoms that would appear on their skin. It
will also help them to have confidence in their medical professionals.”
11-year-old Londoner receives Diana Award
Callum Daniel has been recognised with the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts – The Diana Award. At the age of just 7, he founded his own firm iCodeRobots with the mission is to give children of all backgrounds and all income levels access to classes training them to build and code robots. Callum then went on to partner with tech providers to develop and execute a campaign that led to free sessions for 1,000 children.
Established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Award is given out by the charity of the same name and has the support of both her sons, The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex. Award recipients are put forward by adults who know young people in a professional capacity and recognise their efforts as a positive contribution to society. To gain a nomination, young people must demonstrate impact in five key areas: Vision, Social Impact, Inspiring Others, Youth Leadership, and Service Journey.
Speaking to The Voice newspaper, Callum said, “This award is everything. Diana meant so much to so many people and she always helped others and it didn’t matter what their background was.
“I couldn’t imagine losing my mum, she is a big reason I am doing what I am doing, she helps me with everything. So to think about Prince Harry and William losing their mum at a young age is sad.
“I am going to continue doing what I love doing, helping others, especially young people. I want to introduce them to technology and so many other things.”
If you told anyone that Stormzy had painted your bedroom you’d have to work hard to be believed, but that’s exactly what happened to 15-year-old Ishae Montaque from Croydon. Stormzy teamed up with decorating company The Good Guys to paint the teenager’s room as part of a ‘give back’ scheme.
Spearheaded by Cyle Carth, Good Guys Decorating complete jobs with clients, generating a fund that builds up to cover them to do work for those in need who are unable to afford the services themselves.
This good deed isn’t the first time Stormzy has hit the headlines recently as last month it was announced that he and his company #Merky would donate £10m over 10 years to “Organisations, charities and movements that are committed to fighting racial inequality, justice reform and black empowerment within the UK.”
It has now been announced that BBC Children In Need will match this £10m funding pledge to tackle racial inequality in the UK.
First black-owned greeting cards publisher to be stocked in Waterstones
African-inspired stationery, greeting card, and gift brand Afrotouch Design have made history after teaming up with retail giant Waterstones.
Mum-of-three Georgina Fihosy, has become the first black-owned greeting cards publisher to be stocked by the major bookshop chain, with stores selling nine of her brand’s best-selling greeting card designs.
Each card is individually hand-finished with African print fabric making them a unique addition to traditional greeting cards offerings.
Fihosy launched her business in 2015 and is a vocal force behind the campaign to urge mainstream greeting card shops to stock more products aimed at people of colour.
Book depicting science-mad young Black girl wins Waterstone’s children’s book of the year
‘Look Up!’, a joyful tale written by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola, has scooped the top children’s book prize from one of the UK’s biggest booksellers, as well as a £5,000 award.
The picture book follows Rocket, a little girl with a love for science, who is trying to convince her phone-obsessed teenage brother to look up at a meteor shower.
Coming at a time when only 4% of British children's books have been found to contain a black or minority ethnic main character, the book is also significant in showcasing a young black girl aspiring to follow a traditionally male career.
Writer Nathan Byron starred in ITV show, Benidorm, and was inspired to write the book after a visit to Hyde Park, London.
Sources for images: