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!
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.
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.
It’s been a big week (again) in the world of anti-racism here in the UK. After the England male football team’s last minute defeat in the Euro final, three Black players received a torrent of racist abuse.
In actual fact, these players receive racist abuse every day, but this week it’s been particularly high profile.
There’s been an outpouring of support with many, many individuals declaring their admiration for the three men. The events have fueled discussions in the media, in the Houses of Parliament and in the streets. It’s inspired a new Facebook profile icon for people to visibly demonstrate their support.
All this is positive, I guess. It proves to the non-believers that racism in the UK is genuinely a thing. It also shows how many people are not racist, and are willing to speak out against racism.
In all honesty though, people being called racially abusive names is abhorent, but it’s the least of our problems. It’s systemic racism that really needs to be addressed. It’s the fact that the framework of the UK contains unacceptable imbalances in the experiences of ethnic minorities versus those who are White.
It’s coming up to Oo! That’s A Bit Racey!‘s first birthday. Happy birthday to my treasured project and beloved pastime. I’m a sucker for getting reflective on a birthday, so I’ve been thinking about what I’ve learnt in the last year of my musings and scribbles.
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.
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.
An interview with Jyoti Chadda, founder of My Wellness Company
Jyoti and I met just a few weeks ago, at a panel discussion for young women. She runs her own business, My Wellness Company, and was kind enough to spend some time talking to me about her journey, personal experiences and views on antiracism.
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.
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!