It’s been a tough couple of weeks. On top of a global pandemic, which I was initially dealing with pretty well, another black person was murdered by the police and for the first time in my life, I’ve really seen both black and white people standing up for equal rights for black people. For me, this was positively shocking. But also shocking in the sense of triggering. The trauma of buried racial abuse has risen to the surface full speed and the load is extremely heavy.
I think back to times that I felt obliged to laugh off racist comments out of fear, or the time I tried to scrub my skin so that the white kids at school wouldn’t be horrible to me for being black. I think to more recent times when my experience of racism was belittled or dismissed by white people, before even asking me what had actually happened. It hurts.
I am glad to have had a few encouraging conversations. Conversations that will now remain a significant part of my life forever. But really, I would just like to be with my family. I’d like to have conversations whilst eating dinner or watching TV, rather than just talking over the phone. I was already longing to see them, but now it’s a real need. I deleted Instagram for the first time in 9 years as I was finding everything overwhelming, but I found comfort in posts and videos from other black expats sharing their experiences throughout this time.
I can only hope that the benefits of the ongoing political change and disruption, the equality, that is being fought for today, are reaped by the black generations to come. All we want is equality.
This is not a competition. This is a progressive movement.