October is Black History Month, and we’re asking some of our Black colleagues to give their thoughts on the importance of the month.

Adebola Aroboto

I’ve been a midwife at St George’s since 2006 where I’ve worked both in the community, and in hospital as a community/African well women’s specialist midwife. I currently work as an FGM/perineal and examination of the newborn specialist midwife.

I’m so proud to be the British Journal of Midwifery (BJM) midwife of the year 2020, a NHS@70 excellence award winner for outstanding contribution to healthcare, and part of the Florence Nightingale Windrush Nurses leadership programme.

I love being a midwife – and especially enjoy working in the St George’s maternity team for the specialised and outstanding care we give to women and their families.

What Black History Month means to me:

Black History Month to me is about celebrating the fullness of blackness; the wide variety of cultures; the often forgotten stories; and showcasing the world-changing achievements of black people throughout history. This includes people like Mary Jane Seacole – a British-Jamaican a pioneering nurse, healer and businesswoman who set up the ‘British Hotel’ behind enemy lines during the Crimean War for sick and recovering British soldiers. She was a woman of mixed race who overcame double prejudice, by way of her race and womanhood.

Black History Month is about reflecting on the journey of black people like her, and recognising their sacrifices and contributions that would otherwise be dismissed due to the marginalisation of black people in society.

One of my favourite quotes is by Jesse Owens (a black Olympian) which is also one of my mottos in life.

‘Find the good. It’s all around you. Find it, showcase it and you’ll start believing in it.’

Happy Black History Month to everyone.