The achievements and contributions of the black community have historically been ignored or played down and, are often not celebrated in the same way as their white peers. This is undoubtedly the case for Diane Abbott when in 1987, she became the first black woman ever to be elected to Parliament.
Diane attended Harrow County School for Girls, where she was the only black student. She went on to defy odds, despite being dissuaded she went on to study History at Newnham College at the heart of the University of Cambridge.
When her career in politics started in 1982, Diane was first elected to Westminster City Council, before being voted into the House of Commons five years later. This achievement made her part of the first group of black and Asian people to sit in Parliament for almost a century, but back then, she was only amongst men.
While Diane has certainly caused divides in opinions, she has certainly made massive strides in the bid for equality. She started the London schools and the Black Child programme, which aims to put an end to children being at a disadvantage in school due to the colour of their skin.
Diane continues to be a Member of Parliament (MP) for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, a position she has held since 1987, making her the longest-serving black MP. She also served as the Shadow Home Secretary in the Shadow Cabinet of Jeremy Corbyn from 2016 to 2020.
Diane Abbott has always been a trailblazer, dedicating her career to tackling deep rooted injustices and giving voices to those who would usually stay unheard. She continues to use her voice to make changes to the systematic racism embedded within the United Kingdom, despite all the setbacks she has faced she has never given up. And for these reasons, she is an inspiration to me and many other people.
Charlotte Coles Morris