A is for Anti-Racism

This is my fabulous friend, Caroline. We’ve spent much of our twenty-odd year friendship jabbering away, swapping books and putting the world to rights, usually over a bottle of wine. She’s interesting and interested, so I was keen to bring her into the Oo! That’s a Bit Racey! conversation.

Last week, Caroline kindly agreed to be one of the voices of Oo! That’s A Bit Racey. I asked her some questions about anti-racism, to understand how she feels as a White woman surrounded by discourse about racism and to share her perspective on the world.

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The More She Wins The More She Loses.

A review of Rachel Edwards’ second novel, “Lucky”.

I really did feel lucky when I received a beautiful early edition of Rachel Edwards’ second novel to review.

Rachel’s first novel, “Darling”, was one of the first books I read during my year of reading solely Black authors. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing her for a young persons’s book club since, and I’ve got to know an inspiring role model. As well as being a wonderful writer, Rachel is one of those women who really does empower women.

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Two ears. One mouth.

It’s a quick post from me this evening!

As most of you know, I started Oo! That’s A Bit Racey! for a number of reasons; to share my personal journey towards antiracism, to document the many things I’m learning, to help distill my thoughts and, most importantly to encourage people to talk about race, ethnicity and equality.

For a blog that’s supposed to be about conversation, I’ve realised I’ve been doing an awful lot of talking.

So I’m feeling inspired, and very excited to give you all a rest from my voice, and to give us all the chance to listen to others.

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A week we need to document

I’ve struggled with what to write this week and yet I need to write something.

It’s been a tough week. A week that has centred on women. It’s been painful and I’ve struggled to find the silver lining. Maybe this week will drive more conversation about equality? Maybe it will open people’s eyes to the prejudice perpetuated by the media?

The week started on International Women’s Day. A day to celebrate how far we’ve come in women’s equality. And then…

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Accepta-black

This blog has been bubbling away for a little while. It’s a tricky one for me, but now’s the time. There are two things that have spurred me to to talk about “palatable Blackness”. The first was a great conversation with the co-founder of MixEd, a new platform for mixed race educators. Louise bravely shared her personal story and mixed race experience on the day the platform launched. The second is the Meghan furore….and who hasn’t been triggered by the omnipresent Meghan-Harry-Oprah discourse circulating this week?

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Aha! Now I understand!

Hi friends! Thanks for joining me for today’s blog post. It’s been an interesting couple of weeks with some fabulously bright highlights.

The journey towards anti-racism can be challenging, especially when you’re trying to take others with you, but the tequila shots that blast me with energy are the people I meet along the way. It’s made me re-think about that dreaded activity, networking….

I’ve “networked” a fair amount during my career. I’ve never minded it. Stick me in a bar with a glass of wine and a canape and I’m pretty happy. I can chat to anyone and have a perfectly pleasant time.

But that’s not what networking is really about is it? It’s not about swapping business cards, promoting your business and nodding politely.

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Silence please, for The Girl With The Louding Voice

A review of Abi Dare’s The Girl With The Louding Voice

Lockdown number three, a wet and cold start to 2021……reading has been an essential luxury this Winter.

The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Dare was a Christmas present from my husband. I picked it up half way through January and struggled to put it down again until I finished it. Set in Nigeria (where part of my heritage originates), told from the point of view of a girl who will inspire you and break your heart in equal measure, it’s a great read and one that carries important messages.

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Out of the echo chamber

I’m still buzzing as I write today’s blog. I’ve just put down the phone to Alan Clifford, the BBC Radio Nottingham presenter. I had a really healthy, challenging chat with him today as I reviewed the news for his Sunday morning show (available on BBC Sounds if you’d like to listen).

I chose three news stories from this last week and what I loved about it, was that they opened up conversations about race, division, representation and equality. Alan asked some questions that I think a lot of people would probably ask too. Is literacy on the decline because of “text speak”? Doesn’t all this talk of race on social media bring more division? Isn’t it hard to keep up with the ever changing language about racial identity?

It made me realise how much I often luxuriate in my own echo chamber. So many of the people I speak to are joining me in educating themselves about race and diversity and are on the same page as me in terms of recognising the injustices and ways society needs to improve. Alan gave me the chance to publicly challenge the perceptions of many people who don’t agree, or aren’t aware, or aren’t interested. And that’s what Oo! That’s A Bit Racey! is all about – sparking conversation, debate, and, ultimately, change.

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