Being Black is Political

You say the issue is not race, but then why is the colour of my skin always politicized?

Growing up in an environment which polices every part of my existence. From how I should talk to how I should do my hair. A society which expects me to conform and compromise my identity. I began to realise that my identity as a young Black woman was political within itself.

Being a Black student at a Russell Group University, I’ve definitely seen it all. From the awkward stares in lecture halls to being asked to prove my Britishness. Such experiences have definitely prompted me to have discussions on my own platforms and also with those around me.

Hearing people saying things like, “I don’t see colour” as though we live in a post-racial utopia. In a time where living whilst Black, talking whilst Black, running whilst Black, could cost you your life. Rhetoric like this is yet again an invalidation of our experiences, an invalidation of who I am, my people, our history.

It is not as simple as to forget that colour exists.

Society will let you know that you’re Black.

In the workplace, in academia, when the security guard follows you around the shop because you look “suspicious”, the police continuously telling you that “you fit the description”.

When you’re the only black person in the room and suddenly you’re the spokesperson for your whole community.

Being black, you’re subject to both hypervisibility and hyperinvisibility in tandem.