Archive for May, 2015

  • This is a sick game.

    Sometimes I feel that I’m not cut out for this. I look back to the days when I desperately wanted to build a platform. Now I feel like I would get on better if I had some distance from what I talk and write about. Some folks have that distance advantage. They pick a topic that they’re vaguely interested in yet not effected by, and write about it. But I’ve got skin in the game. When I talk and write about race and structural disadvantage, I talk and write from the perspective of someone who is state & former poly educated, from the fifth most deprived borough in London, from a place where black people earn much less than their white counterparts, where their life expectancy is 9 years less, where your race drastically impacts your access to housing, employment and education.

    This makes me legitimately furious. It makes me so angry and upset. But I also recognise that I am the exception. People from where I’m from don’t end up as journalists. They don’t get book deals.

    And I have godforsakenly found myself in a career where I find myself up against people who aren’t affected by any of this but feel confident enough to assert their dominance over every conversation about it any way. It feels like a sick and twisted game that I will have to reluctantly play forever. For them it’s a thought exercise, little more than what they indulged in in their university debating societies. For me it keeps me up at night. When I hear about another black person dying in police custody I think about the world that my future children will have to grow up in and it makes me genuinely terrified.

    I’m not Oxbridge educated so I’ve not had that training of learning to defend your argument from all angles. But in a way this doesn’t feel like an argument. It’s the reality I see every time I go home to visit my family. I’ve got skin in the game because when I write about ending racism, I’m talking about my brother’s life chances and my sister’s life chances.

    In a week where the press coalesced around a student officer who didn’t invite white people to their event, another news story was getting barely any attention. Sheku Bayoh’s family have been given five different accounts of the cause his death from police who had arrested him near his home shortly before he died, and they still don’t have answers.

    I hope one day that the former news story is considered trivial and the latter fucking scandalous, instead of the other way around.

  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race: the book

    Just over a year ago, I wrote a blog post that seemed to resonate with thousands of people across the internet.

    Today, I’m pleased to announce that I’ve signed a deal with Bloomsbury Publishing to write my first book! Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race will critically tackle politics, pop culture and a thousand received wisdoms about race and racism in the UK. Writing a book has always been a lifelong dream of mine. But most importantly, I’m passionate about changing the conversation on this topic amidst popular rhetoric on race and immigration swinging dangerously to the right.

    Though the book isn’t out for a while yet (early 2017 to be precise) I’m so excited to take my writing about race, equality and liberation to the next level. A special thanks to those of you who have supported my work over the past few years. I hope to do it justice.