It's appalling that I even have to discuss race as an issue in 2015! I lived a privileged life in Nigeria, unaware of racial inequality, and the struggles others faced internationally as a result. Nigerians are united. Muslims and Christians coexisting (well...until the recent uprising of Boko Haram in the North); I remember attending Archbishop Vining in Ikeja, Lagos and leaving church to the sound of Hausa/ Arabic murmurs from the mosque directly adjacent to what is now a Cathedral. Amazing, in hindsight. And colour...well, that whole fair and bleaching malarkey really deserves it's own private rant, but again, for the better part all are treated equally. We are all human before any other characteristic.
My upbringing in the UK exposed me to an alternative understanding. Race, gender, class...among many other factors, are scrutinised to a bleeding pulp before any major decision is made on your behalf. Of late, I'm far more aware of the disparity in treatment of others (and myself included) on the basis of race and ethnicity. I know it's taboo to express discontent on such an open forum, but the diluted underlying racism that we're forced to bear at work, in social settings, even in church...HAS TO STOP!
Black History Month service at Southwark Cathedral
I read a tweet this morning: a fan praising the launch of a makeup range by a BME vlogger, and it dawned on me just how saturated the market is with caucausian femtrepreneurs. As a feminist, I can't knock the hustle of my fellow sister on the grind, but my qualm lies in why there has to be a limitation in available opportunities on the basis of race? Surely talent trumps colour? Necklace : Market (Turkey) | Leather Sneakers : River Island | Watch : Guess
Unfortunately, the world hasn't awoken to that reality just yet, and many are still facing inadvertent discrimination just because of the colour of their skin or the last name they bear. It sickens me! I have had to gulp down discriminatory remarks disguised as jokes, biting my tongue for fear of being branded the 'angry black woman'. Heaven forbid I express how uncomfortable stereotypical comments about Africans or Black Britons as a hoarded class makes me feel. Black History Month celebrates the tribulations and triumphs of black Britons, and opened my eyes to the pivotal role others' fore'rents played in carving out their role in society, and ensuring the smooth running of so many systems we are now cast out of. The irony.
"The best way to fight racism is with solidarity" Bobby Searle