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An exclusive survey for GMB has found that less than half of black Britons think the BLM campaign has improved lives

An exclusive survey for GMB has found that less than half of black Britons think the BLM campaign has improved lives.

The results found that in this country less than half of black people (47%) say that the campaign improved the lives of black people. 10% say it has made things worse. And half (50%) of white people say it has improved their understanding of the issues affecting the lives of black people in Britain.

Speaking about whether progress has been made, presenter and comedian David 'Sideman' Whitely, who quit the BBC after it defended the use of the N-word in a broadcast, told Susanna Reid and Adil Ray: "I feel very positive but that comes from understanding that transition is always a tumultuous thing."

"I feel like what’s happening right now that would make people suggest that things are worse or haven’t changed is simply because what we’re talking about is tearing down a system that has taken over 400 years to build, so it’s not going to go down in a year, but I think we’ve started to see change in a lot of co-operations, organisation and businesses are held accountable than ever before and pledged to help more than ever before so it’s undeniable that change has happened. It’s just whether people are feeling that trickled down effect in their personal lives which will take time," he added.

Political commentator Dominique Samuels joined the debate where she said that the BLM campaign has inspired conversations on a surface level but other than that there have been only gestures.Meanwhile, former MET police officer and diversity trainer G Turawa says it’s too soon to see if BLM has improved lives. But it's positive that the conversations are taking place.

"What I’m seeing, conversations are taking place. Personalities are coming up using their voices, people are now having the space to say 'this is how I feel about the issue'," he said.

To mark Black History Month, GMB has teamed up with Shaun Wallace throughout October to bring you the stories of the black men and women who have shaped the world around us. 

The short films, entitled ‘Black History Icons’, have been made to recognise and celebrate the black figures and events that have changed history.  

The series launched today with a VT about Shirley Chisholm, the first black Presidential candidate. 

Explaining why the project was so important to him, Shaun explained: “The subject of history is so far as I am concerned the best subject that there is. History tells a story about events that have shaped our world as well as our lives."

"The one drawback with the subject is that it has a tendency to retell events from a particular perspective and even worse, it’s failure to acknowledge people, persons or indeed a particular social group who have made a significant and profound contribution to a particular event or events," he said.

“That is why Black History Month is an important time to truly celebrate as well as appreciate, the important and significant contribution black people have made not simply to British society, but to the development and evolution of the world. It is a time to celebrate, not just in my view for the month of October, but for every second that time ticks by.”

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