To mark Black History Month we're encouraging members of the UCO community to share why they are proud to be who they are. Today UCO alumni Michael shares who he is #ProudToBe
"I am proud I kept my identity.
I am proud the poor kids still see me as a big brother.
I, like my ancestors have studied the sciences.
I am proud my choices of literature rattled many, the titles of my books unsettled the comfortable.
I am proud to be an Afro Caribbean child whos grandfather came here with nothing, my father was murdered, my mother struggled. My uncles were abused In the system , trauma career criminals, drug abusers, mental health sufferers, my granny died to the bottle.
I am proud the same intelligence they all possessed I was able to put to use.
I am proud to be a osteopath but more importantly I am proud I've learnt to challenge my thoughts and views. I am comfortable with my stages of change.
I am proud the UCO staff saw value in me, even when the police told me “your education means nothing, you still are what you are”. I came in and Karen gave me a random hug (you cant teach energy, she has the gift).
My mother celebrates the first male to achieve two master degrees in my family, today I remind her I am an African, my ancestors ruled empires, success is nothing new to us.
I am proud to be an educated urhobo man.
I am proud of Yinka Fabusuyi, Mr Vogel, Mr Simpson, Karen Shiels you made me believe in my darkest moments, gave me hope that one day we will feel welcome. "
If you would like to share your #ProudToBe story with us email BCG@uco.ac.uk