As a black woman, I have been trained to be hyperaware of my skin colour and of people’s reactions to it. I grew up in the American South, a region synonymous with racism and black oppression. As the daughter of black parents from Birmingham, Alabama, race, segregation and the recent history and treatment of black people was a common topic of conversation.
On the morning I would start my first job after completing my bachelor’s degree, my father met me at the kitchen table for last-minute advice.
“You’ll probably be the only black person there,” he warned. “Don’t let them…
If one could sum up the entire Biden Inauguration in just one word it would be different. From the mask-wearing participants to the bolstered presence of National Guard troops to the sea of flags replacing usual throng of spectators it all felt different. From the diverse cast of speakers representing a variety of ethnicities to a departure from some of the inaugural traditions due to Trump’s refusal to attend the event, it was all different.
The last two weeks at the Capitol have been harrowing. …
Trigger warning: this article explores abuse and tactics abusers use
Last night millions of viewers from around the world streamed the first presidential debate between incumbent President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. The debate was just over 90 minutes fraught with shouting, disrespect and a hell of a lot of mansplaining. But more than that, Trump’s antics were a masterclass in verbal abuse.
Like many other expats, I set an alarm to wake up and watch the debate live. As I lay in bed, earbuds crammed in my ears, I felt sick to stomach, woeful and generally…
Whether it be at the hands of a US citizen or an officer sworn to “serve and protect” an alarming number of black females have been murdered in the US since the 1990s. Tragically, the perpetrators of many of those murders walk free, unconvicted of their crimes.
“It is hard to educate the public about violence against Black women because it so rarely makes the news. The stories of their deaths may be newsworthy, but the fact that the victim or survivor is a Black woman can be buried.”
— The Violent State: Black Women’s Invisible Struggle Against Police Violence
At least 12 countries around the world have joined in protests in response to the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. While the sense of solidarity is clear in the minds of those joining the protests, many people have taken to social media to express their confusion over why protests are occurring in their country and other places outside of the United States. To help us make sense of the significance of this growing movement, let’s look at three quotes from the late Eli Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor.
There may be times when we are…
Revolution has come to America. Protests and riots spurred by the brutal murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police have radiated through the country. In early June, Donald Trump responded to protests in Washington DC with a volley of rubber bullets and a torrent of tear gas or pepper spray, further splintering our already divided nation.
For black and brown American citizens who live abroad, watching the events unfold from afar is frightening, difficult and heartbreaking. …
He brings me cups of cold tea
and kisses the top of my plaited head
as if I were his child and not his wife.
He doesn’t know that I know that he stares
when the wind of the fan whips across my cheeks
and down my arms like a silk shawl
and my eyes close, drinking in the feeling, feeling
each tiny hair blow in the breeze.
My voice is mysterious as I read aloud my writing and he tries not to listen, tries not to fall in love with my phrasing and the dumb way I swallow the…
It is the summer of 1995; the sun is hot and the pool is lukewarm. Perfect conditions for a traumatic near-death experience.
I stand on the edge of the swimming pool, my toes on the rough concrete. My dad floats in the deep end, water clinging to his chest hair like mini marbles, reflecting the Carolina blue sky and the shining sun. He smiles, spreading his arms wide, “Come on. Trust me.”
My brothers have had enough of swimming and are stretched on a pair of those white plastic pool loungers, eating Doritos and Little Debbie cakes, slurping cold Mountain…
Opening primary schools to Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 students sends them to the front lines of a pandemic and it is irresponsible.
We do not yet know enough about Covid-19 to guarantee our children will be safe returning to schools. Professor Stephen Powis, medical director of NHS England, acknowledged that scientists still don’t know if asymptomatic children can transmit the virus, or at what level.
We don’t know if children who may quietly carry the virus can spread it, and yet the current Government deems it okay to potentially reopen schools on 1 June? …
Riddle me this: what hurts like hell and is something that all writers have in common? Answer: rejection.
Rejection isn’t anything new — 39.9 million Google search results is proof of that. “We all go through it,” the chipper glass-perpetually-half-full published writers say with a glib grin. We do all go through it, yes, but if we’re all stuck on a raft bleeding into the ocean in shark-infested waters, having company doesn’t make the situation any less sucky. The phrase is misery loves company not that company eases the misery.
“Unfortunately, your words aren’t a good fit for us at…
American in Britain • Confessionalist voice, exploring narrative essays, BAME topics, pop culture, parenthood, obesity, race, travel, literature and food.