England history maker opens up on importance of celebrating Black role models.
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The first Black woman to score a century for England, Sophia Dunkley, has spoken to the PCA about Black History Month and why it’s crucial that role models inspire the next generation.
The Southern Brave and England star is an inspiration to the next generation, having represented her country in three Tests, 25 ODIs and 34 IT20s, scoring 1,243 international runs for her country.
The 24-year-old will go down in history, forever celebrated as the first Black woman to score a hundred for England, after a blistering 107 this summer against South Africa at Bristol.
October is Black History Month in the UK, this gives everyone the opportunity to share, celebrate and understand the impact that Black heritage and culture has had on our country.
People from African and Caribbean backgrounds have been a fundamental part of British history for centuries and campaigners believe their value and contribution to society is often overlooked, ignored or distorted.
Recently, greater attention has been paid to the month’s celebrations following the Windrush generation scandal and the Black Lives Matter movement since the death of George Floyd in May 2020.
In October 2022, the theme focuses on Black health and wellness, and throughout the month, the PCA is speaking to members of Black origin to provide insight on what the month means to them.
The England batter sat down with her players’ association…
- What does Black History Month mean to you?
- It’s a great time to reflect on all the achievements of people in all different walks of life around the world that have Black origins. I think for us, especially in cricket, there is some really special cricketers that have paved the way in our sport and it’s a wonderful time to celebrate that and look back at their successes.
- Who was your inspirational Black role model growing up?
- It would have to be Serena Williams, I used to love watching sport, especially tennis and she was very iconic in the way she played. On and off the court she is a great person to look up to because she has so many amazing qualities.
- If you could celebrate one Black cricketer in history in Black History Month, who would it be?
- I would celebrate Ebony Rainford-Brent in Black History Month, because not only was she the first Black woman to play for England, she’s now inspiring the nation with all the work she’s done to try and help cricket be more diverse and inclusive which is great to see. She’s really helped cricket in the last couple of years so we’ve got a lot to thank her for.
- How important is it to educate general society on Black history in Britain?
- I think it’s really important to educate society on Black history in Britain, it’s important that we learn from some of the historical mistakes of the past so we can help shape the future for the better, as well as admire some great achievements by some amazing people. Black History month offers a brilliant opportunity to do that.
- The theme of Black History Month 2022 is Black Health and Wellness, recognising the achievements of Black health and wellness practitioners. How do you think we as a sport should meaningfully celebrate Black History Month?
- As a sport, I think the best way to celebrate Black History Month is to remember some of the amazing players that have come through and look at their past performances and how they’ve paved the way as role models for lots of young boys and girls to get involved in cricket.
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