Accepting ourselves – our blackness, our culture is so important. You might think I’m crazy in talking about whether we accept ourselves enough. Watching the Royal Wedding with Harry & Meghan made me think about this point.
We black British people have spent our lives trying to be accepted by white Britain. I feel like we have hit a point where we are tired, jaded and sometimes just plain weary at how difficult it is being black in a white country. After seeing some of the comments on social media during the wedding, it seemed like some black people now feel relieved, like we are finally accepted by white society.
Why accepting ourselves is so most important
It was a beautiful wedding and I’m so happy for them both. But while we are happy for these two people who have pushed aside their different backgrounds to make a life together, we should consider:
What we do need to be happy about is the shift that’s taking place. Debates about race, seeing companies who are talking about diversity. Even more black leaders in society and the continued hope that our young black people will achieve more.
But please let’s not be grateful or relieved that black people are finally accepted. We have always been good enough and have to start accepting ourselves, whether white people or society accept us or not.
What can we do for our self acceptance?
Well for a start:
- Stop buying into the ‘light skin is pretty and dark skin is ugly’ argument. This nasty lie was started by the white slave masters and has no place in our communities today.
- Stop using the ‘n’ word – do I really have to explain why? Insulting ourselves and making other races think this word is acceptable will never be right.
- We know our ancestors didn’t have independent lives. They were not allowed to show any pride in who they were.. But today we have different and better lives where being proud and showing our pride in our acceptance is so important.
I can’t ignore the fact that we black people still need to keep on working on ourselves; yes there’s more we can do to help ourselves. But perhaps when white society takes into account some of the points below, we won’t need to keep striving for acceptance.
What would true acceptance mean for us black British?
To truly feel accepted in the UK, there’s a whole load of things we need to see happening for the black British. This is just the start of my list:
- Stop deporting our Windrush generation who have helped to make the UK a rich country.
- Teach black history in British schools.
- Give us equal opportunities in the workplace. Really, invite us to the table and let us participate in decision making and more.
- Stop referring to us as ‘exotc or ghetto’ when you make references to us in the media – we’re black not birds!
- Use positive images of black people and role models (who do exist) in advertising, tv etc, stop ignoring them.
- Stop using and supporting the message that ‘lighter skin is better than darker skin’. There are over 90 shades of black skin and every shade is valuable and beautiful.
We’ve waited for white society validation for so long- we don’t need it now. We will validate and elevate ourselves. We don’t have to wait for white validation anymore.
Leave a comment below and tell me what helps you to grow your self-acceptance?