Meghan, the Media and the Mania

I see #MeghanMarkle is still trending on Twitter, two weeks after her visit to Britain for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. What a frenzy it caused having a mixed-race woman step back onto British soil after choosing to leave us and our media behind.

I remember the emotional weight of learning Meghan’s story last year. You may remember I touched on it in my post Accepta-black, where I reflected on who is deemed acceptable in British society. It seems the fairer your skin, the closer to received pronunciation your accent, and the less fuss you cause, the closer to “ok” you get as a person who’s not white.

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Adultification – More than a Child can Handle

I’ve been building up to this post for a while. The Child Q case was one of those instances that really shook me. Anti-racist work is hard. There are particular instances that knock you for six. And this was one of those times.

But, this work is bigger than me. And this case has opened up many important conversations about an extremely significant type of racism that we all need to understand if we’re going to drive change.

Adultification bias is defined as “a form of racial prejudice where children of minority groups are treated as being more mature than they actually are.” In other words, the world sees Black kids as older than they really are.

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Gentrifi-take-tion

Take a few moments to imagine….

You’re at home. In the neighbourhood you’ve lived in your whole life. Your Mum lives around the corner. Your old school friends are all within walking distance. The shopkeeper knows your name…..

A new family moves in next door to you. They’re thrilled to have bought a big house in such a cheap area. But they don’t approve of your local shops, take-outs, your skin colour and all the connotations that come with it….…

Ok. You can brush that off. No big deal.

But then, their best friends move in on the other side of your house. They look just like them, and nothing like you.

And then their business partner moves in across the street. Followed by their neighbours from their old (‘it was lovely, pleasant, quiet, safe, you know? But it was sooooo expensive.’) And on it goes…….

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What’s Your 2022 Word?

The start of ’22 has seen lots of self declarations of people’s “word of the year”. One of the most inspiring I’ve seen is in the beautiful book by Paula Sutton, Hill House Vintage. (I bought this book for my Mum for Xmas and read the whole thing myself on Boxing Day.) Her word is “Yes” – and it meant a lot me.

By making “Yes” her word, Paula has committed to following any opportunity that comes her way.

Not overthinking things. And not planning things too far ahead. Just going for it.

It got me thinking about what I want out of 2022. And I think my word is going to be “growth”. Here are the reasons why.

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Strong Enough?

Hi everyone. Happy New Year and welcome to 2022. Blimey, 2021 was another toughie wasn’t it?!

How did everyone get on over the festive period? I hope you’re feeling well and ready for this coming year. Whatever your goals I hope you reach them.

In my last post, Self Care Survival, I shared some of my strategies for looking after ourselves. It was prompted by the challenges of the festive season, but we all know that self care is for life not just for Christmas, even if we’re not perfect at practicing it.

Today, I’m collecting my thoughts on how we might define what is is to be “strong”. It’s a follow up from Self Care Survival. By looking after ourselves, through reflection, rest and recharge, we grow stronger. It’s inspired by some of the books I’ve read (always with the books…I know, I know), the things I’ve learnt and the role models I’m surrounded by.

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Self Care Survival

This time of year often gets busy. It can get tricky too – emotions surface about the last year, overwhelm about to do lists and social events rears its ugly head, there might be disappointment about the things you thought you’d accomplish but didn’t…the list goes on.

It’s no wonder there are a lot of articles out there about self care. It’s Important. And it’s not something many of us are any good at.

I’ve been thinking about self care for people who work in Diversity and Inclusion. It’s a tough gig. And it’s crucial we look after ourselves if we’re going to keep treading this long, long path towards equality.

Each time a person of colour delivers, or takes part in, training about Diversity and Inclusion, it’s involuntary therapy. They find themselves having to face into the injustices of life, the trauma they’ve experienced, their families’ history, their children’s futures. Every time they read a news report about racism, they have to accept that we’re a million miles away from racial justice. They’re forced to reconcile with the fact that the work their putting their heart and soul into may only be making the tiniest of differences, if any. Each instance of gaslighting they witness, trolling they experience, or lack of interest is is like a slap in the face.

Yeah, it’s a tough gig. But we keep going.

So today’s post is a quick reminder of some of the fundamentals of self care – the ones I’ve valued the most along my personal journey towards antiracism.

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Covid Questions

Wow! I haven’t wrottien since 26th August. That’s the longest I’ve gone without talking to you guys since I started Oo! That’s A Bit Racey! just over a year ago.

Covid hit me quite hard at the start of September. While I was lucky, I didn’t have horendous symptoms, it did knock me for six, and it’s only in the last week or so that the fog has lifted and my energy levels have come back up to speed.

It’s weird, and scary, having covid. After spending 18 months reading about it, trying to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, you have it. Your loved ones are at risk. You can’t leave the house for ten days. You’re fears have come true!

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Are more people doing it?

Are they? You know? Doing the thing? The thing I’ve been trying to encourage? Talk about race?

I realise now that when I set out on this blog of mine, I set an objective that I couldn’t measure. Rookie error!

I know I’ve talked a lot. And I’ve talked with lots of people too. I’ve chatted with friends, made new contacts and friends for life, shared some inspirational people’s voices. But what’s happening out there beyond my circle? Are more people talking about race? That’s the big question.

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One year on

Who doesn’t get nostalgic on a birthday?

One year on from publishing Oo! That’s A Bit Racey! I indulged in half an hour of nostalgia. I looked back through all of my posts, and thought about what I’ve learnt personally, what others have helped me understand, and what I’ve put out there into my circle of influence.

Today’s post is a summary of some of the most pertinent points that some of the wonderful people I’ve spoken with have shared with me.

To introduce this anniversary post, I’ll start with some quotations from my first posts….they remind me of why I’m here, chatting to you.

The whole world is on a journey right now. At least, the whole world has an opportunity to be.

Discussion is the most important thing we can commit to if we’re going to learn together as a society.

It’s not easy. It’s not comfortable. But it is important.

More of us are making a difference .

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