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#ReclaimBlackStories: Esme

Thursday 20-10-2016 - 15:00

#ReclaimBlackStories is NUS Scotland Black Students' campaign to share the reality of Black history and what it's like to live in Scotland at the moment - as told by Black students. 

#ReclaimBlackStories: Esme

I started off in public school in the middle of London, there race wasn't very apparent. If you were black you were black, if you were white you were white, if you were mixed you were mixed. I then move to a private school for my sixth form years and that's when my race became a thing. As a mixed race person I automatically became black and as much as people accepted my white parent I became the spokesperson for all black people.

There were of course, people there who became my friends, but it was very exhausting having to steer them away from saying and doing ignorant things. Then you get a couple of f*****g idiots, who do stuff like putting pictures of gorillas on Facebook and tagging you saying you look like this - happened all but two weeks ago! 

I've had people ask my permission to say "n***r"! I'm like … I'm gonna let you make this decision for yourself - just, if you have to ask maybe you just shouldn't! Again, you automatically become the figure head for Black people when you come into certain environments. It was just very weird at the beginning, by the end I was at the end of my tether so I wrote an article explaining why I felt like I was being treated differently ... it was all just ridiculous, even being called a different name, I'm like that's not me! We all look different! Also even as someone with lighter skin, understanding my own privileged, it all plays in and is very confusing... just very confusing and quite heavy. It’s a lot to deal with constantly, especially once you've become aware. Once you're aware you pick up on micro-aggressions much more easily- you're quite switched on.  

In terms of misogyny and how it affects me on a daily basis ...fake wokeness! Luckily many of my close friends are quite in-tuned. My black guys friends all look back and say they regret the way they acted as younger teenage boys. We're all just unlearning so many negative things, the process is very weird. Also Rap music and Hip hop, I always want to sing along but so much of it is so offensive to me!

 

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Reclaim Black Stories,NUS Scotland,Black,Shuwanna

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