Self-love or self-loathe?
A new Youth Mayor for Lewisham has been elected to office to serve for one year (unlike the four years Mayor Bullock has although a certain referendum may make his own tenure equally as short, but I digress). So does the Youth Mayor send out the right message in Black History Month?
Siobhan Bell, a 17-year-old is the borough's third young mayor and has a female deputy, 15-year-old Luziane Tchiegue-Nouta. Siobhan says: "The past two years it has been boys, but now we've got a chance to show we can do the job in a different way. The fact we're Black as well shows people what can be done if you work hard."
It seems to me that young Siobhan is either cynically exploiting the month of her election or she has issues. Was she having a dig at the two previous Youth Mayors? Is she saying that Blacks are naturally lazy and have to work hard while others sail through to success? She does say that she and her deputy, also Black, will do things differently. Which brings me to question the validity of Black History Month: Is it forward thinking to identify achievement on race? Or work towards making a man’s race, as Bob Marley sang in `War’ `…of no more significance than the colour of his eyes’?