Munroe Bergdorf shares powerful message of inclusivity for Black History Month
British model and activist Munroe Bergdorf has shared a powerful message of inclusivity for Black History Month.
The 32-year-old, who has walked runways at London and New York fashion weeks, urged people to be inclusive of “all black stories, including the contributions of black British LGBTQIA figures”.
“Be intersectional! Black people are not a monolith. We can’t speak about race without recognising class, ability, gender, sexuality, education, nationality, religion/faith, skin tone.
“Colorism is real. Amplify the voices and perspectives of dark skin black women especially, as theirs are so often overlooked by the mainstream. If you are hosting a panel talk or event, make sure that panel/event lineup is diverse and reflective of the diaspora as possible.
“Respect black sex workers, who are on the front lines and need access to feminism, safe spaces and services more than anyone. Media and big brands – PAY YOUR BLACK CONTRIBUTORS. Do not expect us to work for you for free during a month designed to empower and educate.
“Don’t hire and pay white broadcasters or writers in the place of black broadcasters or writers when speaking on BHM or black issues. This is a chance to create opportunities for the black community on your side to tell our stories.”
Bergdorf ended the thread: “Finally, share stories of #blackgirlmagic, #blackboyjoy and black non-binary excellence. Our community is full of groundbreaking, talented, innovative changemakers who deserve the spotlight.”
Bergdorf rose to public prominence when she was appointed as the first trans model for L’Oréal in 2017. But she was controversially dropped by the company less than a week later, after the Daily Mail dug up an old Facebook post of Bergdorf’s in which she criticised white privilege and stated that we live in a racist system that benefits white people at the expense of people of colour.
BBC Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo quit the L’Oréal campaign in solidarity with Bergdorf, who has since gone on to model for beauty brand Illamasqua and fronted a Channel 4 documentary in 2018 about her transition.