Africans in Ukraine face Racism

My heart breaks! Why are Black people so much hated everywhere?
I woke up to the hashtag #africansinukraine trending on social media and right now it is difficult not to rage at the world, at racism and how sad this all is. And they say White Supremacy is a thing of the past!

This makes me wonder; if we ever had a world crisis where people had to be rescued, I wouldn’t be surprised if the sign “No Blacks until all White people are safe” is openly displayed and a Policy to that effect openly implemented.

We say Never Again then things like this happen and we know yes, it can happen again. The true test of character and allyship is not when we are comfortable but when we are in a difficult situation.

Is it any surprise we don’t read about these things on the news, no mainstream media coverage? If not for social media, many would deny that such is happening right now. I despair for humanity. In fact, I am close to giving up on humans. What a sad world we live in.

#blacklivesmatter #africansinukraine

Black History Month – Proud To Be.

It’s Black History Month and the theme this year is Proud To Be. I am Proud of everything that makes me Black.

I am proud of my Black Heritage.

I am Proud to be African.

I am proud to be an African Woman.

I am proud of the hospitality of my people.

I am proud of the creativity, the arts, rich culture and music that we have generously given the world which unfortunately are often appropriated without acknowledgement of the Black origin.

I am proud of the contributions of my people to Science and Technology.

I am proud of the exuberant nature of my people and the way we express ourselves with all our body gestures.

I am Proud of the renowned hospitality and welcoming nature of my ancestors.

I am Proud to be a Black African woman.

Africa is the cradle of life, it is the continuent that keeps giving even though they keep exploiting its human and natural resources, my people are resilient and continue to radiate hope.

They say Black is bad and not good enough, yet they refuse to return the beautiful Artefacts they stole from us that today still grace their museums.

They say Black is ugly yet they go under the knife to look like us to copy the very physical attributes they called ugly.

Still we rise because we know, and we know that they know, Black excellence is real, Black is beautiful. in and out.

To forget our history is to assimilate the lies of the colonisers and exploiters.

I know my history and this is why I Am Proud To Be. #HappyBlackHistoryMonth

As part of my celebration of Black History Month 2021 and in keeping with its ‘Theme ‘Proud To Be’ , I recited the poem ‘Africa my Africa’ by David Diop and shared with my work colleagues as a BHM video compililation project. Enjoy!

Africa my Africa – David Diop

Africa my Africa
Africa of proud warriors in ancestral Savannahs
Africa of whom my grandmother sings
On the banks of the distant river
I have never known you
But your blood flows in my veins
Your beautiful black blood that irrigates the fields
The blood of your sweat
The sweat of your work
The work of your slavery
Africa, tell me Africa
Is this your back that is unbent
This back that never breaks under the weight of humiliation
This back trembling with red scars
And saying no to the whip under the midday sun?
But a grave voice answers me
Impetuous child that tree, young and strong
That tree over there
Splendidly alone amidst white and faded flowers
That is your Africa springing up anew
springing up patiently, obstinately
Whose fruit bit by bit acquires
The bitter taste of liberty.

Racism is not a winning attitude; Kick it Out!

I, like most Black people, knew the racial abuse was coming. It took just minutes after Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka missed their penalties for the racists to go wild and vomit their vile on social media.

I am not a huge football fan and the one time I had my heart in my mouth during the game was when Marcus Rashford stood there to take the penalty. I knew instantly it was not just the weight of the ball he was carrying; he was also carrying the weight of his race and people who look like him.

My heart sank when he lost the penalty because I could already feel the racial abuse coming his way, and when Sancho and Saka lost too, I knew the racists would have a field day. I was willing them not to miss, even if England lost the game because at that point, I was more concerned about the racist abuse these young men would receive than England losing the game.

When our black sportspersons win, they are British, when they lose, they are immigrants and the racists immediately resort to racial abuse. Why should we always be made to feel like this by the society we are part or ‘supposedly part of’ as equal citizens? And some still wonder why we take the knee!

There is also a lesson on white privilege here. If a white person took the penalty and lost, of course they would also have been abused. However, that abuse would not be because of their skin colour. No one should ever have to face abuse, abuse is never a way to make a point. For British Black sportspersons, they face abuse as sportspersons in addition, for their skin colour too.

We must also address the fact that we see a rise in violent behaviours during football season, often fuelled by excess consumptions of alcohol during a game. Previous figures have sadly shown that domestic violence occurrences rose by around 38% nationally on the days when England lost, and 26% when the team won or drew a match. This is toxic, I wouldn’t be surprised if these figures rose higher during the Italy vs England Euro final.

The racists were not only satisfied with sending abusive messages on social media, some of them took it upon themselves to deface the artwork mural of Marcus Rashford in Withington, Manchester shortly after England lost on Sunday. Adults defaced the motivational mural of a high achieving, inspirational young person with swear words and racists comments. How very adult and civilised!

I have learned to always look out for that human act of kindness amidst hate and despair; I was not disappointed. The indefatigable spirits of decent humans shone through in this situation as they covered up the act of hate with an act of love.

They left positive messages where once there was hate.

They rallied round someone who was being kicked down by vile racists and showed him how much he was loved and revered by decent people.

Kids from diverse backgrounds rose to the occasion and stood up against racism. They supported and praised their hero, the one man who stood up for them to make sure they or their mates from less privileged backgrounds did not go hungry during school breaks. To even think that this act of kindness and empathy from Marcus Rashford was one of the things the racists hate about him, I mean how dare he try to campaign for children not to go hungry!

Marcus, ever a cool level headed young man, showed his appreciation for the support via his powerful message on Twitter: –

I’ve grown into a sport where I expected to read things written about myself.

Whether it be the colour of my skin, where I grew up, or, most recently, how I decide to spend my time off the pitch.

I can take critique of my performance all day long, my penalty was not good enough, it should have gone in but I will never apologise for who I am and where I came from. I’ve felt no prouder moment than wearing those three lions on my chest and seeing my family cheer me on in a crowd of tens of thousands.

I dreamt of days like this. The messages I’ve received today have been positively overwhelming and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears. The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up.

I’m Marcus Rashford, 23-year-old black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else, I have that. For all the kind messages thank you. I’ll be back stronger. We’ll be back stronger.

What a powerful message and from a 23-year-old too. A lot to unpack there.

My heart goes to the 3 heroes, I hope they continue to hold their heads high because they are champions, they are kings, they are heroes. #BlackLivesMatter