23rd October 2018
Black History Month - Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake
Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake won European 200m silver in the summer, and we caught up with him to gather his reflections on black history as we celebrate Black History Month throughout October….
What does Black History Month mean to you?
Black history should be celebrated every day, it shouldn’t be subjected to a month. When you compartmentalise something, you only put it on a pedestal for a certain amount of time and then you forget about it completely. But if you do away with it, it allows it to be celebrated as regular history. Nonetheless, it is an important month for people to learn about their culture and look at some of the heroes.
What history do you want to make as a black athlete?
I want to be known as an athlete first. I want to be an ambassador for the sport and a role model. I want to tell people to pursue every dream; you can do it if you really want to.
Top black male British athlete icon in history?
You have got to give respect to Linford Christie. One of the most established black male sprinters in history. He did it in a time when the Americans were dominating the sport.
I love Dwain Chambers and it really hurt me when what happened, happened. He’s such a graceful guy. The fact that he has spoken about it gave me more respect for him. When you go through adversity, it is easy to shy away from these things. But he spoke to me face-to-face so hats off to him.
Darren Campbell; I believe we have similar personalities. We are both charismatic. He has taken time to reach out to me and help me throughout my time in the sport.
Being around Christian Malcolm on the team is great; I have a lot of respect for him. I always try to pick his brain to learn from him.
It is great to be around these people. When you are young, these people are your idols, but they are just humans like us. They have always been there to give me a helping hand. I have a lot of respect for those gentlemen there.