MARTIN LUTHER KING JNR 1965
MARTIN LUTHER KING JNR 1965
COLIN KAEPERNICK 'MADE A STAND' BY TAKING A KNEE IN 2016
COLIN KAEPERNICK 'MADE A STAND' BY TAKING A KNEE IN 2016
MIKE TYSON TAKES A KNEE 2020
MIKE TYSON TAKES A KNEE 2020
LEWIS HAMILTON TAKES A KNEE 2020
LEWIS HAMILTON TAKES A KNEE 2020
NANCY PELOSI Speaker US House of Representatives
NANCY PELOSI Speaker US House of Representatives
9920D58C-2B00-499F-816C-D8FF94D78BB2
9920D58C-2B00-499F-816C-D8FF94D78BB2
"DEFINING MOMENT" - KEIR STARMER Member of Parliament UK
"DEFINING MOMENT" - KEIR STARMER Member of Parliament UK
50D97EC0-F9EA-44D9-91D3-62F4D2650CB8
50D97EC0-F9EA-44D9-91D3-62F4D2650CB8

Our Ancestors, Our Voices.

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
~James Baldwin

We are Melissa Owen, Keisha Tassie, Kami Jogee. We are family. I am their aunt. I am her niece. I am her cousin. We are women of colour. We are Black, we are White, we are South Asian.


We come from Jamaica, Zimbabwe, England, Afghanistan, India. There are decades between us, as we represent the age groups of 20s, 40s, and 50s. Our engagement with systemic racism stems from our lived experiences in England and in the United States. Our skin tones vary, our hair textures vary, our features vary. Our experiences, our identities, our understandings are as eclectic as our DNA.




© Copyright All Pages – Kami Jogee, Keisha Tassie, Melissa Owen 2020



Note to readers: Authors from US and UK; you may notice differences in British English and American spelling.


UK British English & US English Language & Spelling:

The story is said, 'The differences often come about because British English has tended to keep the spelling of words it has absorbed from other languages, while American English has adapted the spelling to reflect the way that the words actually sound when they're spoken.'  Either is acceptable.

LIFE IN BLACK WHITE & BROWN

Our Ancestors, Our Voices.

Readers Comments below

THANK MELISSA AND FAMILY

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Melissa Owen and her family who have always welcomed me into their family at every opportunity as a friend and as an activist and Buddhist. What you are doing has been such a long time coming and the sadness I felt over the harassment Melissa was put through recently made me more determined to ensure there is no more shield of white silence as I join hands and knee on one knee to state my support that BLACK LIVES MATTER.


Your narrative of the injustice that you and your family suffered should never be repeated and I hope I can challenge at ever crossroad a racist comment thought or action that I know as a white lesbian woman to be not acceptable and therefore to speak out for justice and peace in every sense or its meaning.


Name of reviewer

- Rosalind

Mon, 26 Oct 2020 18:27

LOVED IT

I loved it...one big family from different corners of the world living in harmony

😊❤


Name of reviewer

- Elaine xx

Mon, 26 Oct 2020 18:53

AWESOME ARTICLE

Hey Ladies,

 

Awesome article. Interesting read. It's great to hear the voices of other people who don't fit the norm. 

 

As a black woman raising 2 daughters I often wonder how they will fit into society and how they will see themselves in terms of colour and where they will feel they "belong".

 

I grew up in Africa, where I was put in the "coloured" box. I was not black, not white, and not Asian enough to feel like I belonged in any of these. I went to a mixed school where all races mixed but the institution was clearly white (strange but true in colonial Africa) My friends were "school friends", we didn't have play dates or sleepovers until I was in High School and could make my own choices. I don't have stories to tell about being called names or racially profiled but I do know the feeling of feeling "different". 


When I came to England and spoke to people over the phone, they assumed, because of my name, that I was Asian, always got the surprised look when I turned up in person. Then I became "mixed race" or "half cast", turns out here coloured means black and well, seems I'm not black enough. 

 

Like you all I have learned to love the skin I'm in, how wonderful it is to be able to identify with so many colours and cultures, I change my hats often and am so proud to be the mix that I am. 

 

Hoping your stories will inspire and educate. 

 

Best wishes to you all. 


Name of reviewer

- Imrana 

Tue, 27 Oct 2020 14:50

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mirrored words


This artwork evokes the BLM demonstration that took place in Bristol, on 7th June 2020, during which the statue of slave trader Edward Colston was toppled; a clear stance against racism, denouncing how historical narrative and the "symbols" it uses are obstructing positive change and progress in regards to racial and social issues.


A2 size | 2-colour | Neon Pink & Matt Black | Heritage Paper: white, 200gsm & acid-free | Limited editions of 10 prints | £35 each incl. 10% donation to BLM UK.



Elisabeth Bolzon


elisabethbolzon.com


BLACK LIVES MATTER


A note from Nadine Hassan


Co-founder of Thelma & Dot



This artwork was created by my five year old son in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement that exploded around the world in the days after his shocking death. With a black Nigerian father, a quarter black mother, a mixed race grandfather, a black Guyanese great grandfather and an aunt from Jamaica, my son is very aware and proud of his colour and heritage. Being from such a multicultural family we wanted to show our support by creating a poster that we could put in our front window to not only show our solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement but also show who our family is. 


The beauty of being five years old is that although he sees colour, he also sees himself as equal and no different from anyone else in the world. This is exactly the life that we want him to grow up in, a life where it doesn't matter what colour skin you have, what religion or gender you are, we are all equal. Part of Thelma & Dot’s ethos is to be an inclusive brand and this is why it felt important to take this original drawing and turn it into a piece of art that signifies hope, equality and a reminder that we were all children once and that no one is born prejudiced. 


All proceeds of the sale of this poster WILL go to Black Lives Matter.


"Black Lives Matter is incredibly important and close to my heart.


My grandfather was a young black man from Guyana who moved over to the UK in the 50's, he married a white woman and he came up against so many struggles, but each day he continued to work, love and protect his family.


I myself have married a black man and we have a beautiful 5 year old boy. I want him to grow up in a world where he doesn't have to experience the hardship and struggles of his great grandparents, his grandparent and his parents. I want his life to be one filled with laugh, laughter and hope, hope that one day every single person that walks this earth no matter their colour or religion will be treated as an equal. I stand for my grandfather, I stand with my father, I stand with my husband and I stand with my son to fight the fight against racism."


Nadine Hassan


Nadine drew a picture with her son that he put in their window to show support, then decided to turn the picture into a print that they have just started sell on Thelma & Dot webstore and the proceeds of sales to go to Black Lives Matter.



Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter in Portsmouth

Charlotte Griffiths' journey to this project named the ‘Black Lives Matter Project' started quite some years back, but it wasn’t until earlier this year (2020) in the summer that she realised she had to do something about bringing the project to life and so she did!


On June 27th 2020, Charlotte, with her daughter, along with her friend joined in the Black Lives Matter march. Her daughter who was 10 at the time made her own placard that she raised in with her voice and her Charlotte said “I was so proud”. At the end of the march they sat and listened to peoples harrowing and heart wrenching stories that were upsetting beyond belief her daughter could not understand why and how people could act in such a way because of the colour of someone’s skin.


Charlotte grew up in a predominately white area outside of Portsmouth and being only one of a handful of black kids at her school, where she experienced some racism. She knows racism comes in many forms and said


“...but racism is racism and there are no exceptions, no matter how slight the comment may be or whether it was part of ‘banter’ it is not acceptable on any level.”

 

As part of the Black Lives Matter Project she asked some of the participants of the campaign why they wanted to be involved find out why?


Above some of the participants of the, Black Lives Matter Project' campaign find out why the wanted to be involved

A PERSONAL BLOG BY JOEL DANIEL


ALLY? OR A LIE I TELL MYSELF?



Ally? Or a lie I tell myself? 

 

On May 25, George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, was killed in Minneapolis.

 

A tragic act of violence, a racially-aggravated murder, took Mr Floyd’s life from him, his family, his community.

 

George Floyd’s killing was the latest (it’s not now) in a heart-breakingly long list of black people who have lost their lives to racism in the police ranks and in society, both in the US and in the UK. 

 

Watching the ensuing coverage, I began to see that I’ve been misguidedly, unwittingly unseeing of the scale and insidiousness of systemic oppression inflicted upon black people. 

I knew parts of the story, of course I did. But that was not commendable. It was ignorant. 

 

I knew that black people could (do) experience discrimination in many different arenas: in education, at work, in our health system (GP surgeries, hospitals, mental health settings). I knew that black fictional characters get killed off first. That we don’t see nearly enough black people in mainstream media. That there are far too few black protagonists in books for readers of all ages. I knew bits and pieces. But, I hadn’t consciously and deliberately sat down and joined up all these dots. So, I started to join them.     

 

 

 

I learned that

o   Afro-Caribbean pupils are three times more likely to be excluded from school than white British pupils.

o   Black and Asian households are twice as likely to be in persistent poverty as white households.

o   The effects of austerity mean an average of 5 percent loss of income for black households, which is double the loss for white households. 

o   The ethnicity pay gap reaches as high as 20%. 

o   Police were 28 times more likely to stop and search black rather than white people.

o   If you are black, you are three times more likely to have a stun gun used against you.

o   The proportion of black people in UK prisons is almost seven times their share of the population.

o   Black and minority ethnic people are at greater risk from COVID-19 – they are more likely to be exposed to the virus and more likely to have poor outcomes including fatality if infected. The reasons why are complex, but evidence has shown that social and economic inequalities upstream are a factor.   

 

(*all UK data*)

 

I understood diversity, I understood unconscious bias and micro-aggression, I understood inclusion. But I was only just beginning to understand how gravely the individual dots added up to a bigger picture of persistent, prevailing, pervasive oppression. 

 

Through my reading I came across the following quote by Martin Luther King, taken from his Letter from Birmingham City jail.

 

‘’ I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice…’’

 

In 1963, Malcolm X spoke out about wolves and foxes, which he used as an allegory for white conservatives and white liberals. As I understand it, he was asserting that the white liberal has a different method – less outward and maybe less conscious, yet they inflict pain on black people all the same. 

 

I’d always believed that as a Jewish person raised in multi-cultural south east London, I was an ally for black people – my friends and beyond. Wrong, right?

 

As the scales fell, I understood that you can be an active ally by fighting blatant acts of racism, but that’s not nearly enough. In order to be a true ally, you must be actively fighting the less obvious forms of racism and structural oppression too.  

 

When I read the quote by the American political activist Angela Davis, I understood better. 
‘In a racist society, it’s not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.’ 

 

I needed to show up. I called my friends. I bought from black-owned bookshops. I read, I listened. I spoke to colleagues. I made notes:

 

o   Racism is prejudice plus power. 

o   Colour blindness is a misguided standpoint. 

o   Affirmative action helps. Matter of fact, it’s needed to level the playing field and create equal opportunity. 

o   (Diversity) Quotas can be controversial, but they are based on solid logic. 

o   The concept ‘Culture fit’ is flawed. Better is ‘Culture add’.

 

Since then, I’ve kept a weekly appointment with myself to consider what anti-racist work I must do that week:

 

  • Check your privilege.
  • Examine the role you (and your communities) are playing in maintaining systems of oppression and white supremacy. 
  • What’s affirming the dominant culture and needs to change? 
  • Who is being ‘minoritised?’ 
  • Check where/when/how you are being complicit with unequal, exclusive, racist, discriminatory systems.
  • Is there equity here? 
  • Are the structures/systems perpetuating inequity?
  •  
  • What small changes can I make that could have a big impact? 
  • What small changes add up? 
  • What are the big changes that need to happen? 
  • Be the voice of others when they’re not in the room. Better – have them be in the room. 
  • Name it when you see it. 

 

Some early results are that I stop to consider:

 

Was I going to call Person X because they’re more like me than Person Y?

Was I going to wait for Person B to reach out to me ‘because the ball’s in their court’, though I’d happily reach out to Person C?

Is my tone conscious of others, really? Or is it the tone of dominant culture and needs to change?

Access to employment solutions are needed. But, once a person enters work, is that it? 

Don’t we have a role to find solutions to the systems of oppression that exist inside work too, which are barriers to inclusion, belonging, progression and fair compensation? 



Isn’t it time we review our consultants/suppliers to create opportunities for people who’ve been excluded?

 

It’s something, I’ve started. If you haven’t already, start. And I invite you to share your commitments and your learning too. And I ask you to hold me, yourself and others to account as well. 

 

I definitely hesitated over how/whether to write this. 

This is not my story to insert myself into. 
I’m centring myself, why? 
Are my motivations sound and pure?

 

Where I’ve landed is that I need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. 

Acknowledge my flaws. Show my thinking. Show my journey. Show up. 

 

I regret that it took another tragic, racist murder for me to finally join the dots. That’s straight up poor. Now joined, I’m working at being an active ally.

 

This piece is dedicated to the memory of George Floyd and his legacy. Gianna Floyd’s daddy changed the world (please watch this clip).


 

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