Black people are genuinely astounding. Through so much adversity, as a community, we have given this world so much. Driven it forward. Raised it up. We continue to do so.

So many inspirational stories of achievement.

Football is no different. We have Cyrille Regis and Anita Asante. Hope Powell and Marcus Rashford. Household names who changed the game and paved the way for others to do the same. For every one of these bright stars however, there are numerous untold stories of positive changemakers.

Every Black History Month I am in awe of the enormous contributions of Black people to every industry, every region, every inch of this country. For me, this month is about celebrating the entirety of that experience. The trailblazers that make the front page, and those who may only make history for the small communities around them.

An essential part of this requires shining a light on parts of our past that have been overlooked by traditional gatekeepers of history. Understanding the events that allowed and sometimes forced these people to do the incredible things they have.

We can, and should admire the bravery of Bukayo Saka, the wisdom of Ian Wright, and the charisma and confidence of Alex Scott. But we should also understand the record of British colonial involvement in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, and the patterns of migration that led to those families settling in the UK. We should acknowledge the systems and structures that expose Black players and pundits to racist abuse, and obstruct the progress and opportunities for Black people in our game. 

People pin a lot of hope for change on the importance of education. We agree, but currently these lessons are not taught in schools. We would like to get to a point where Black History Month is no longer necessary, so seamlessly is it integrated into mainstream life.

We owe this to our young people. Depriving them of both the true history of the country we all call home, and some incredible stories of the Black experience. This history can inspire the next generation of changemakers, and they are invaluable in driving us towards a fairer society.

This is something we have been championing through a project with Sky and Adobe, The Edit, which challenges students to tell stories celebrating heroes who have fought for a more equal society. It also equips them with the knowledge and digital skills to someday create some Black history of their own.

Conversations about Black history must continue beyond October. They cannot become token gestures by organisations and brands that are restricted to a 31-day period. If we are to make lasting change, we must be continually honest with our history and what we can learn from it.   

There is obviously still a long way to go. And until we get there, Kick It Out will continue every month to champion the stories and experiences of Black people in football.