Archbishop Sentamu reflects on Black History Month

Dr John Sentamu

Dr John Sentamu

The Anglican Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu has spoken about the Stephen Lawrence Murder Inquiry, the Damilola Taylor Murder Review and the legacy that we give to this generation of young people as part of a wide ranging interview marking Black History Month.

As part of the interview in the autumn issue of BlackHistory365 magazine, the Archbishop reflected that prisons and mental health units are disproportionally filled with men and women from minority ethnic backgrounds. The Archbishop said: " Our young offenders' units are full of young black men, many of whom under achieved at school and thought
the only way to earning a quick buck was by committing a crime. As parents and as a nation, we have failed our children".

Dr Sentamu outlined that much has been achieved by way of legislation, and he also encouraged both the individual and communities to challenge injustice. His message to this generation of young people was: "Work hard at your education, stay focused and don't sit around waiting for success to be delivered to you on a plate, because it won't be.  Don't blame someone else, for you have the energy, potential and creativity so use it for the good of humankind.  Don't waste it. Your future success does not lie in guns, gangs and knives or in the worship of celebrities but in the pursuit of study and hard work and in valuing who you are under God - wonderfully and fearfully created in his image."

The Archbishop was also asked about his aspirations for the 17 African states which celebrate 50 years of independence during 2010. He said: "The millennium development goals are still far from being achieved in 2015 as promised by the G8 nations".  The Archbishop outlined that international trade tariffs are biased against developing countries and he challenged the behaviour of multi national companies - notably in the failed states of the Democratic Republic of Congo.  He added: "There is much that the leaders of African nations can do to alleviate hunger, poverty and ignorance. The issues of poor governance still persist and corruption, greed and selfishness pervade."

The full interview entitled 'Injustice Must Be Fought' is available online at:

Share this story