So what I’m about to write isn’t new, in the sense that countless black people have written about this issue before, but I’m going to add my two pennies worth to the conversation anyway. Perhaps my contribution won’t be as articulate as others, and perhaps I won’t bring anything new to light but I’m willing to join the chorus of other people talking and writing about this issue until people get the message and change their behaviour accordingly.
Growing up, I remember countless women lamenting about how awful it was to have random strangers accost them in the street and, with no permission, start rubbing their pregnant tummies. The women spoke and wrote about how intrusive and rude it was to be felt up by someone they didn’t know. They spoke about pregnancy being uncomfortable enough without having their personal space invaded by some creepy nutter with no manners.
I think, for the most part, society now realises that it is absolutely not okay to stroke a stranger just because they happen to be pregnant. This isn’t a community bump, there to be fondled by passers-by who happen to like babies. It’s someone’s baby encased in HER body which, unless she has said otherwise, is not to be touched.
So why doesn’t the same apply to black people and our hair? Continue reading
In 1984 I lived in a council flat in a dodgy little place called Shoreditch. As I was a baby at the time, my parents lived there too!
I have very fond memories of our time there; the neighbours, most of whom babysat me at one time or another; the lady next door with the Rottweilers and – for reasons only known to her and her family – a pet monkey; trying (and failing) to ride a bike in the hallway and, best of all, the parties! It seemed like every week friends and family would congregate at our flat and it would always turn in to a party. The sound system blaring, the flat packed full of people, alcohol, jokes…It was brilliant!
There were things that I was too young to notice at the time but that I found out about when I was older: the queue of people outside on the balcony waiting to buy drugs from the dude next door; or the fact that one of the kids my parents forbade me from hanging around with had fleas (that kid belonged to ‘Rottweiler woman’ who, I later found out to my eternal disgust, used to let the dog have her puppies on the fur coat that she always wore but never washed). I was protected from all of that nonsense and even though there were a few… shall we say, eccentric sorts in the area it was generally a safe and really friendly place. Continue reading
At 7pm on Wednesday 1st July 2015 – the hottest day on record in the UK, I was in a bar in Monument, Central London with about 7 or 8 other people. I didn’t know these people, I’d never met them before, I may never meet them again but they seemed nice. I was tired and hotter than a bottle of Tabasco sauce in Hell, but I had decided that if I didn’t attend, I’d regret it so there I was, sitting with a bunch of very beautiful ladies and opposite some very ordinary looking guys.
This was my first Speed Dating event. Continue reading
It’s not every day you’re walking down the street and hundreds of naked people on bikes go riding by, but that’s one of the great things about living in a major city I suppose. Anything is possible.
There they were in their birthday suits, not a care in the world. They certainly weren’t body conscious or shy in any way; they didn’t seem concerned about the fact that it might rain; they weren’t phased by people like me snapping away on our camera phones… They had decided they were going to participate in a naked bike ride and they did. Simple.
Right now, at this precise moment as I’m typing this, the people in the flat above me are, shall we say, enjoying each other’s company rather vigorously. In fact, I’m a little concerned that in a few more thrusts they’ll end up on top of me after they’ve crashed through my ceiling. Continue reading
With 2015 just a few days away most of us are in reflective mode but whether 2014 has been awesome or awful we will have learned a few things from our experiences. Here are 6 key things I learned this year…
Karma is a thing
Although I have always believed in karma I was somewhat concerned that it might be broken or something. Good people all over the world seemed to get nothing but stress, pain and suffering whilst not-so-good people seemed to be rewarded for their gluttony and inhumanity. Then, I witnessed – albeit on a small scale – the universe finally reward some good folks and force the bad to question their actions. I should never have doubted the universe, she’s slow but sure. Continue reading
There is something rather refreshing about being let down by the people closest to us. Sure, it’s upsetting at first, even hurtful but the experience teaches us a very important lesson.
When I say disappointments I’m not talking about minor disappointments here, but major, heart-breaking, gut wrenching disappointments where the person or people you trusted most in the world suddenly and very out of the blue turn on you. Continue reading