Are We Home Yet?

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Canada, Caribbean/Latin America, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Monographs, United Kingdom on 2020-09-12 01:23Z by Steven

Are We Home Yet?

Jacaranda Books
2020-09-10
Paperback ISBN13: 9781913090197

Katy Massey

One of Jacaranda’s #TwentyIn2020, Are We Home Yet? is a moving memoir of a mixed-race woman from a working class community in Leeds and her outspoken French-Canadian mother. Exploring issues of shame, immigration and class, the pair share their stories but struggle to understand each other’s choices in a fast-changing world.

Spanning the years from 1935 to 2010, Are We Home Yet? is the moving and funny story of a girl and her mother.

As a girl, Katy accidentally discovers her mother is earning money as a sex worker at the family home, rupturing their bond. As an adult, Katy contends with grief and mental health challenges before she and her mother attempt to heal their relationship. From Canada, to Leeds and Jamaica, and exploring shame, immigration and class, the pair share their stories but struggle to understand each other’s choices in a fast-changing world.

By revealing their truths, can these two strong women call a truce on their hostilities and overcome the oppressive ghosts of the past?

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‘My mum calls me the N-word’ – the reality of growing up mixed race with a racist parent

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2020-09-11 01:19Z by Steven

‘My mum calls me the N-word’ – the reality of growing up mixed race with a racist parent

gal-dem
2020-09-05

Emma

Being a person of colour with a white parent who holds racist views is more common than you might think. Emma explores the emotional trauma of being brought up in a racist home.

A few days after the tragic death of George Floyd, when Americans took to the streets in righteous anger, my dad condemned the protests, remarking that Black people should be less afraid of the police and more so of “blacks with guns in inner cities”. Unsurprisingly, this unsavoury conversation escalated. My dad, as you might guess, is white, but I am not. Not for the first time, I was left wondering how, as a mixed race Black woman with a socially conservative white father, I reconcile with the fact that my dad might be racist?

The current racial climate has led to many people having difficult conversations about race with their families, often for the first time. Social media has been awash with handy tips and tricks for instigating conversations with uninformed family members. Instagram swipe-through posts with titles like “How to tell someone you love that they’re being racist” and “Nine counter-arguments to use against your conservative parents” ad infinitum have proliferated.

This is all well and good for white people. But what happens when the white parent in question has a Black child? Mixed race families are sometimes heralded as the ultimate antidote to racism, and a signifier of racial progress – but the reality is often far more complex. Family setups like mine are often difficult to navigate and can produce emotionally challenging situations. While the sense of urgency and pressure to educate friends and family generated by the Black Lives Matter movement is incredibly important, it can put mixed race people in an uncomfortable position. How do you balance the obligation to educate a white parent who holds racist views while protecting your own mental health?…

Read the entire article here.

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Blue Beneath My Skin

Posted in Arts, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Videos, Women on 2020-08-26 00:22Z by Steven

Blue Beneath My Skin

The Alchemist Theatre Company
London, United Kingdom
2020-06-22

Macadie Amoroso

“Clothes allow me to choose how people see me,
Clothes can speak louder than my skin…”

Through the eyes of a 17-year-old mixed race girl, Blue Beneath My Skin explores the nuances of identity and ethnicity, and how self-perception and the perceptions put upon us can push us onto a destructive path.

Blue beneath my skin was fist performed at The Bunker Theatre in 2019 as part of the ‘This is Black’ festival. In 2020 it was revived as part of East 15’s Debut Festival and won the King’s Head Theatre’s Stella Wilkie Award and was chosen for Pulse Festival.

Watch the entire play here.

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This Is Black – Double Bill I: Blue Beneath My Skin & All the Shit I Can’t Say to My Dad at the Bunker

Posted in Articles, Arts, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Women on 2020-08-26 00:08Z by Steven

This Is Black – Double Bill I: Blue Beneath My Skin & All the Shit I Can’t Say to My Dad at the Bunker

The Up Coming
2019-08-10

Michael Higgs

Featuring four new plays by emerging black writers, Steven Kavuma’s This Is Black is a highly anticipated festival that promises to be a success. The first part of the festival, Double Bill I, presents highly passionate and thoughtful performances of two one-handers, which leave plenty of room for thought.

Written by and starring Macadie Amoroso, Blue Beneath My Skin features the life story of a 17-year-old mixed-race girl who dreams of becoming a fashion designer, but who frequently encounters setbacks through an onslaught of sexism and racism. Amoroso’s acting is top-notch and full of soul, never failing to be convincing even for a single moment. The writing, too, is very strong for the most part – although the occasional irregular use of rhyme, probably a leftover from spoken-word-poetry, does mar the overall presentation somewhat. Plot-wise, the ending also feels rather forced and unlikely. But these minor hiccups are hardly detrimental to an otherwise outstanding performance, which takes a particularly fascinating point of view in exploring racial tensions and questions of identity when being of a mixed heritage…

Read the entire review here.

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Blue Beneath My Skin, Alchemist Theatre Co. (Streamed Broadcast)

Posted in Articles, Arts, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Women on 2020-08-25 23:56Z by Steven

Blue Beneath My Skin, Alchemist Theatre Co. (Streamed Broadcast)

Breaking The Fourth Wall: Michael Davis’ thoughts on theatre and the Arts.
2020-06-27

Michael Davis

The second entry in Alchemist Theatre’sWriters On Hold’ series, Blue Beneath My Skin continues to explore the themes of racial identity and feminimity. Written and performed by Macadie Amoroso, the monologue focuses on a 17-year-old mixed race girl, who after she was abandoned as a baby by a canal, was found and later raised by an all-white family.

While ‘Canal Baby’ (Amoroso’s character) has a ‘comfortable’ existence, domestic life does have its tensions. She’s still close to her ‘father’, but he and her ‘mother’ are no longer a couple. Living in an all-female household (with ‘mother’ and ‘sister’), far from having many things in common, even neutral interests such as fashion are a divisive subject, where they seldom see eye-to-eye. Regardless of this, it is the one avenue where Amoroso’s character feels she can express her individuality, irrespective of her family’s opinions and tastes.

Read the entire review here.

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It’s not your mixed race friends’ responsibility to coach you through the Black Lives Matter movement

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United Kingdom, United States on 2020-07-17 15:39Z by Steven

It’s not your mixed race friends’ responsibility to coach you through the Black Lives Matter movement

MetroUK
2020-06-15

Miranda Larbi


It’s not our job to help you through this awakening (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

These past few weeks have been hard for everyone linked to the black community.

On top of the collective trauma that comes from the murder of yet another black man, it’s as if the whole world has suddenly woken up to the realities of racism.

This white awakening has had a real emotional impact on many ethnic minorities. After all, imagine having to deal with racism on a near-daily basis for generations only for you to be believed now. But the unexpected result of all this – for me at least – has been the almighty load put on me by my white friends.

Those of us who are black and white (and no doubt, other mixes too) seem to have become tools to enlighten, comfort and placate white angst…

Read the entire article here.

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Lewis Hamilton attacks silence from F1 paddock over George Floyd killing

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Justice, United Kingdom on 2020-07-06 20:23Z by Steven

Lewis Hamilton attacks silence from F1 paddock over George Floyd killing

The Guardian
2020-05-31

Giles Richards


Lewis Hamilton has accused ‘some of the biggest stars’ in his sport of ‘staying silent in the midst of injustice’ after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. Photograph: David Davies/PA
  • Hamilton: ‘I see those of you who are staying silent’
  • Driver condemns response from ‘white-dominated sport’

Lewis Hamilton has spoken out about the killing of George Floyd and offered a damning condemnation of the silence from others in Formula One, including his fellow drivers.

“I see those of you who are staying silent, some of you the biggest of stars yet you stay silent in the midst of injustice,” he wrote on Instagram. “Not a sign from anybody in my industry which of course is a white-dominated sport.

“I’m one of the only people of colour there yet I stand alone. I would have thought by now you would see why this happens and say something about it but you can’t stand alongside us. Just know I know who you are, and I see you.”

Hamilton is the only black driver in Formula One and has been outspoken on the sport’s need for greater diversity in the past. “There’s barely any diversity in F1,” Hamilton said in 2018. “Still nothing’s changed in 11 years I’ve been here.”…

Read the entire article here.

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“My Kids Are Getting The Message Loud And Clear: Being Black Is A Burden”

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Justice, United Kingdom, United States on 2020-07-06 20:07Z by Steven

“My Kids Are Getting The Message Loud And Clear: Being Black Is A Burden”

Vogue UK
2020-07-05

Christabel Nsiah-Buadi


©Misan Harriman

Unable to shield her children from the global conversation on anti-Black racism, Christabel Nsiah-Buadi is leaning in to celebrating her kids’ #BlackBoyJoy and #BlackGirlMagic. But, she writes, real change takes time.

A few weeks ago, my daughter handed me one of her final pieces of first-grade homework. It was a memory book. On the front page, she had coloured all of the kids with brown skin. Inside, she drew a picture of herself hugging her teacher, who is Asian American. She coloured both of them with pink skin.

I found that strange, because it was the first time my kid had done that in her nearly eight years. As a child with a white father and a black mother, she is used to seeing people of different skin colours in her life. Indeed, my husband and I have made a conscious effort to make sure she could see the power in being a brown-skinned girl, because we knew that by being a Black kid living in the US or the UK, it was only a matter of time before she’d be told – by someone in her life, or something she heard, saw or watched – that she was less valued than her white friends…

Read the entire article here.

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Black Tommies: British Soldiers of African Descent in the First World War

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, United Kingdom on 2020-06-23 01:55Z by Steven

Black Tommies: British Soldiers of African Descent in the First World War

Liverpool University Press
2015-12-04
208 pages
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-781-38018-5
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-781-38019-2
eBook ISBN: 978-1-781-38427-5

Ray Costello

Black Tommies is the first book entirely dedicated to the part played by soldiers of African descent in the British regular army during the First World War. If African colonial troops have been ignored by historians, the existence of any substantial narrative around Black British soldiers enlisting in the United Kingdom during the First World War is equally unknown, even in military circles. Much more material is now coming to light, such as the oral testimony of veterans, and the author has researched widely to gather fresh and original material for this fascinating book from primary documentary sources in archives to private material kept in the metaphorical (and actual) shoe boxes of descendants of black Tommies. Reflecting the global nature of the conflict, Black Tommies takes us on a journey from Africa to the Caribbean and North America to the streets of British port cities such as Cardiff, Liverpool and those of North Eastern England. This exciting book also explodes the myth of Second Lieutenant Walter Tull being the first, or only, black officer in the British Army and endeavours to give the narrative of black soldiers a firm basis for future scholars to build upon by tackling an area of British history previously ignored.

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Emma Amos, Painter Who Challenged Racism and Sexism, Dies at 83

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Women on 2020-06-14 00:38Z by Steven

Emma Amos, Painter Who Challenged Racism and Sexism, Dies at 83

The New York Times
2020-05-29

Holland Cotter, co-chief art critic


The artist Emma Amos with her 2006 work “Head First.” Her paintings often depicted women flying or falling. Becket Logan

Early in her career she created brightly colored scenes of black middle-class domestic life. Her later work was increasingly personal and experimental.

Emma Amos, an acclaimed figurative artist whose high-color paintings of women flying or falling through space were charged with racial and feminist politics, died on May 20 at her home in Bedford, N.H. She was 83.

The cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease, said the Ryan Lee Gallery in Manhattan, which represents her.

A key event in Ms. Amos’s career came in 1964. A 27-year-old graduate student in art education at New York University, she was invited to join a newly formed artists group called Spiral.

Its members, all African-American, included Charles Alston, Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis and the muralist Hale Woodruff — midcareer artists with substantial reputations. Organized in response to the 1963 March on Washington, the group was formed to discuss and debate the political role of black artists and their work…

…Emma Veoria Amos was born on March 16, 1937, in Atlanta from a lineage that was, by her own account, “African, Cherokee, Irish, Norwegian and God knows what else.” Her parents, India DeLaine Amos and Miles Green Amos, were cousins. Her father, a graduate of Wilberforce University in Ohio, was a pharmacist; her mother, who had a degree in anthropology from Fisk University in Nashville, managed the family-owned Amos Drug Store…

Read the obituary here.

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