Interview with Zara Paul: A Future Leader

Interview with Zara Paul: A Future Leader

London School of Economics

Zara Paul recently graduated from LSE. She has been listed among the top 100 black graduates of the UK in the Future Leaders magazine 2011-12. In this interview she talks about her time at LSE, her passion for music, what being mixed race means to her and how she sees herself as being ‘massive’ in the next 10 years.

How did you feel when you heard that you had been selected among the top 100 black graduates of the country?

I felt absolutely brilliant! It didn’t sink in until I went to the actual Future Leaders event. I was surrounded by so many intellectuals and academics and politicians. I thought it was a great privilege. I couldn’t believe it…

…Tell us about your family history. Where do you trace your ‘roots’ to and are those ‘roots’ part of your identity?

My mum is Scottish-Irish and my dad is Jamaican. In my school, as a mixed race person coming from a council estate, I always stood out. I think that made me a bit stubborn, it made me think I am still going to be a little nightmare but I am also going to be smart and get my A levels and GCSEs behind me. I think being stubborn is a really good thing, to a degree. I did my dissertation on whether your identity changes dependent on your location. In a rural area, you may be black; in a multicultural area, you are who you are.

Do you believe in celebrating your mixed race status?

I love being mixed race. I can fit into so many social groups, most people can’t do that; so it’s something I think I should embrace. For example, when I did research into the riots, people found talking to me easier because of my mixed race status. In my heart however, I did think that when we are talking about equality why do we have to have separate awards for ‘black graduates’?…

Read the entire interview here.

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