As most of you know, I startedOo! 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.
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…
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?
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.
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.
Today marks the start of February, the month of love. It’s also the day that my article about The Colour of Love, one of Nottingham’s most fascinating volunteer groups, goes live in Left Lion magazine. Seeing as I fell in love with the group a little myself, I couldn’t help but share some of their story on Oo! That’s A Bit Racey! too.
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.
On the back cover of The Mothers, by Brit Bennett, Roxane Gay is quoted as saying “The Mothers has stayed with me since I first read it….”. It stayed with me too. It was one of those books I had to sit with for a moment after I turned the last page. For a novel set around a church community, if felt almost prayer-like when I finished it. I had to sit and reflect on it, in silence, with respect.
Happy New Year to everyone, and a huge thank you to everyone who’s read and supported That’s a Bit Racey this year. It wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve without a round-up post….so here are my personal reflections on 2020. It’s going to be tricky to do this without using cliches, but what a year!
On top of the glorious readings of some of her passages, and her captivating descriptions of Nigeria, where her inspiration, research, and personal experiences come from, I was touched by some of the other messages she had for us.
Female relationships, were a special element to Chimamanda’s interview and this is what I would like to reflect on for this week’s blog.