October is upon us, which means Black History Month too.

While this offers a great occasion to focus on the rich history of the Black community in Britain, it also throws up some embarrassing moments as brands desperately try to capitalise on the month.

Unfortunately, lack of forethought can mean a lot of these gestures fall very flat.

Especially if the company hasn’t got the best track record in supporting Black individuals for the other 11 months of the year.

And a new video by comedian Munya Chawawa now perfectly skewers why people are criticising a Royal Mail initiative for BHM.

The company recently unveiled four special postboxes to ‘honour’ Black Brits like Lenny Henry and Mary Seacole.

The postboxes, which are located in London, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast, have been painted black with a gold trim and feature either the image of a famous Black brit or a piece of work by them.

But people aren’t massively impressed by the gesture.

Chawawa’s hilarious video – which quickly went viral – goes a way to illustrating why.

In the video, Chawawa plays both a reluctant Black Royal Mail employee and his white manager, ‘Roy’.

The employee is hauled into a meeting where Roy is unveiling their BHM initiative and instantly subject to a host of microaggressions and racism, such as being reminded he’s the only Black person in the company and having to suffer through Roy’s offensive attempts to use supposed Black slang like ‘Ya get me’.

Finally, the employee tells Roy that the black postboxes are tokenistic and “don’t mean anything”.

“This is just a bad idea,” he sighs.

Roy is undeterred however, and suggests a brand new idea: “Postman Brap”.

“Postman Brap and his black-and-white wap,” he explains, as the video ends.

And people were really tickled.

Celebrities praised Chawawa’s ability to perfectly parody tokenistic gestures by companies that make little material difference to the lives of Black people.

His skit was deemed “spot on”.

It perfectly encapsulated the critiques surrounding the postboxes, which were criticised as “performative’.

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Royal Mail often temporarily decorates postboxes to mark key events, communities and occasions. By marking the contributions of prominent Black Britons, we also wanted to mark the contributions made by our own black colleagues in their local communities.

"We are very proud of our BAME network, who were involved in creating and developing this idea and have celebrated Black History Month across the organisation for a number of years. As a diverse and inclusive business, we run a series of mentoring and career progression programmes and other initiatives to help our BAME colleagues fulfil their potential within our business.”

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