Celebrating Black History with Jide Chinsman
In recognition of Black History Month 2023, we are celebrating and sharing the stories of Black leaders and colleagues from across The SR Group and our networks. We are delighted to have been able to interview Jide Chinsman, Director at Taylor Root.
Tell us about your heritage?
I consider myself to be a citizen of the world. I have been fortunate enough to have lived in a number of countries and see who I am today as the product of a wide range of cultures. My family originates from Sierra Leone, I was born in London and have lived in the UK, US, Ethiopia, Nigeran, Senegal and Togo. Although my heritage is African and British, I see my cultural identity as being derived from the broad range of experiences I have had in my life.
How does having a multicultural background impact you?
I see my multicultural background as one of my biggest blessings and strengths. It has allowed me to understand that people can be more than one thing at the same time. It has also taught me to embrace our differences, the importance of surrounding yourself with people who are from different backgrounds and have not had the same life experiences as you. I am a big believer that culture is not always down to your genetics, but stems for your experiences and can change over time. However, I am extremely proud of my African heritage and see this as central to who I am.
What do you think of the progress society has made so far?
This is a really complex question to say the least. My view is that we haven’t come far enough, and society is still very polarised. The world undoubtedly has changed between my generation and my parents’ generation. Planet earth is more diverse and multicultural which is a beautiful thing.
However, the fundamental problems around equality and human rights still remain. In many ways they are as prevalent today as they have always been. Issues of racial inequality, gender inequality and social mobility are some of the greatest challenges we face in modern society. I think the history of all cultures should be taught in equal measure and it’s sad that we are not there yet.
However, I’m an optimist. I believe most people are striving to make the world a better place and understand we have more in common than we don’t.