I want to share some of my experiences as a black woman in the UK. I love the United Kingdom and I’m grateful for all the opportunities and experiences I’ve had in my time here. I’m also grateful and thankful for the majority of people who have shown me love in this great country and have accepted me as I am.
So what I’m about to share is not to bring shame to this great country but to encourage the culture were we can openly talk about our experiences to bring about and facilitate change.
I can’t claim to have experienced the magnitude of what we see going on in the media, but in little ways I’ve experienced racial prejudice. My family and I emigrated from Nigeria while I was in my early teens and my earliest experience of this was in high school, where my African accent was being mocked by ignorant kids on an almost daily basis to the point were I thought the easiest thing to do would be not to speak out in class.
Now you could say, ‘They are only kids’, ‘What do they know?’, but it is at that stage that actions like that need to be nipped in the bud because if they aren’t it grows into what we see today years and decades later. Let’s teach our kids to celebrate differences instead of mocking them.
Another experience I’ve had is when I went into a charity shop in Surrey with my sister and two of my brothers, who have grown into beautiful big black men. As soon as we got in, we were being followed and watched by one of the shop assistants. She had already tagged us shoplifters without knowing us, knowing our backgrounds or knowing who we were, all because we happen to be of a darker skin colour. I’ve got some more examples of little incidents like these that might seem like nothing, but it is these little incidents that grow into big incidents that result in the killing of another human being just because of the colour of his/her skin.
Let us challenge our own bias and prejudices, let us question why we think the way we think about a particular race or group of people and let us begin to unlearn those biases and prejudices. Let us not be uncomfortable about discussing racism and sharing our experiences because it is only then that these prejudices can be challenged and true change can begin. Let us speak out when we’ve been unfairly treated and hold to account those who treat us unfairly. Let us learn to love one another regardless of race. Let us slowly and strategically break down racial barriers and racial biases.
It might seem impossible, but as the bible says ‘What is impossible with man is possible with God’. So breaking the shackles of racism in our nation and in nations around the world is possible. We just have to believe and hope and more importantly ‘BE THE CHANGE’
God bless you all. #bethechange#blacklivesmatter#alllivesmatter#letlovereign#onehumanrace#stopthehate#letjusticeprevail
Our Guest writer,Rumen Osawaru is a pharmacist resides in Hull in United Kingdom