Over the next two weeks the public will have the chance to vote on the Metro website (www.metro.co.uk/heroes) for 61 influential nominees who have had a major impact across science, academia, politics, music and sport.
The competition takes part during Black History Month, which is a means of championing Black culture, history and heritage. It also seeks to spread and affirm the huge contributions the Black community have made to Britain.
The Mayor Boris Johnson said: “This is a snapshot of the myriad of inspirational Black men and women out there who inspire us all every day. The line up celebrates truly iconic figures spanning the last 200 years, from amazing leaders like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King whose immeasurable hard work has changed the world, to the home grown talent of novelist Zadie Smith, and entrepreneur Damon Buffini, the choice is endless. It’s fantastic that Metro and the Press Association have joined forces with us to stage this prominent Black History Month competition and exhibition and I encourage everyone to get voting now.”
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Alongside the competition, City Hall will be hosting a special photographic exhibition celebrating a selection of the nominees from 13th- 30th October.
I know there are very mixed views and opinions on this competition. I did not vote for Boris to be Mayor - I voted for Ken. But credit where credit is due, I think this competition will help to raise awareness of Black History Month and introduce people to a host of Black men and women who have made a real and lasting contribution to their communities and British and world society. That surely is something to celebrate, be positive about, and engage with, not to snipe at and criticise.