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#ShareBlackStories Is The Instagram Hashtag Celebrities Are Using To Mark Black History Month

Ashley Walters on fellow British actor Lennie James: "I was just pleased to be working alongside him and more importantly seeing a black man control his own destiny."

In case you weren't aware, it's currently Black History Month in the UK. Yes, we celebrate in October, and on Instagram, black British celebrities are using the hashtag #ShareBlackStories to salute the individuals that matter to them.

Top Boy actor Ashley Walters paid tribute to fellow British actor Lennie James, who was the first person to cast him in a film when he transitioned from music.

For Walters, the experience of working under James allowed him the opportunity to imagine his career as an actor. And it's a perfect reminder that representation always matters.

Fashion designer Walé Adeyemi praised talent manager and celebrity publicist Vannessa Amadi-Ogbonna for her longevity in the entertainment industry and making it look easy while being a mother of two.

"She's a hardworking mum, she has two children, one minute you'll see her at events, late-night, enjoying herself with all the rest of us, and the next day she's doing the school run which I think deserves a handclap in itself really," he added.

Comedian and writer Dane Baptiste kept things closer to home and used #ShareBlackStories to thank his big sister for her support particularly when his career hit a low point.

Journalist and broadcaster Afua Hirsch shone a light on Margaret Busby, the editor of the powerful anthropology Daughters of Africa and the now updated New Daughters of Africa.

Referring to the 75-year-old as a "literary legend", Hirsch hailed Busby for her support of the incoming generation of black writers including herself.

Radio DJ and television presenter Melvin Odoom celebrated the work of legendary actor Will Smith whom he was fortunate enough to come in close contact with on more than one occasion.

In Odoom's own words: "He is the kind of celeb who goes out of his way to give you the best interviews, he has the best stories, and he's just a really cool guy."

Grime artist and businessman J2K used his video to celebrate friend and fellow grime star Wiley, describing the music veteran as "tenacious, caring, and unstoppable."

Black credited the grime veteran not only for his influence but also his resilience: "He's someone that definitely can't be counted out — he's proved that time and time again — so you can't really overlook someone like that, and a person like that deserves their accolades while they're here and beyond that."

Presenter and journalist Vicky Hope used her story to shout out British author Malorie Blackman, someone she credits for "changing her life."

The 30-year-old host shared how Blackman's 2001 novel Noughts and Crosses helped her find her voice as a mixed-race child growing up in the north-east of England.

"It was the first time that I'd ever seen on the pages of a book, a family that looked like mine, a love story that was like that of my parents," said Hope.

"I grew up in Newcastle in the '90s, and I never met another family that looked like mine. I never met anyone with one black parent and one white parent. I know that's really normal now, especially down here in London, but where I was, it was really bizarre and I felt like no one really understood me and there was a lot of questions around my identity, my cultural heritage, my sense of belonging that I couldn't articulate because I didn't have any parameters to gauge them with."

The novel which will be adapted for television next year is the story of lovers from different worlds segregated along racial lines.

Award-winning performer George the Poet paid tribute to his parents, praising their bravery for emigrating to the UK from Uganda in the 1980s.

"See that wave of Africans that came over in the '80s? Yeah, they did the damn thing. They didn't have no money, they didn't come with any connections, they didn't know what kind of environment they would be settling in, they might have had one idea about London and found something completely different but 20, 25, 30 years later here we are," said George.

The 28-year-old told his followers: "We got it cracking, because they settled in this city, man grew up as a grime MC, I grew up around different cultures, I learned how to interact with different kinds of people, and I've been able to build a career out of all of those experiences so where I could have had a very different life in a village in Uganda or maybe in a city in Uganda. Man's here and it's because of the wave of migrants who came in the '80s and my parents, just the two of them."