Black Lives Matter movement is very much active and will lead to change. People often ask 'what is it you want?' Firstly, it is nice to know you are listening. We want to be treated fairly as equals and not pitted against. But since you asked what it
is we really want, keep reading this blog to the end.
Racist incidents I have experienced in the last year - all related to being served.
1. Being asked if I was a breaking in, because I didn't have the code and was not sent the code for the
tennis club where I was a member
2. Being followed around a Saltrock shop and then asked if I wanted the item I had taken off the rail hung in the changing room, no-one else was asked that.
3. Being physically attacked and mauled by a security
guard in the Co-op as I was suspected of stealing. No evidence of stealing - just a suspiscion
4. Being refused an appropriate service at customer services for a mistake the cashier had made earlier in Waitrose. When my husband went and made the
same plea he was responded to kindly - he is white.
5. Being told that I had to go and find my breakfast ticket in a hotel, my husband didn't have his and he was not questioned by the server at all.
In the last 5 years
6. Sadly many
interviews for roles I was more than qualified and experienced to do. Because I was a strong candidate I was often given banal feedback - this sytemic racism in the teaching profession has resulted in only one black headteacher in the 130 of Bristol schools,
no independent school black headteachers in England and only 23 mixed black Caribbean headteachers in England's 22,400 schools. Percentage of pupils getting a strong pass (grade 5 or above) in English and maths GCSE by ethnicity Mixed Black
Caribbean outcomes 31.4%, Black Caribbean 26.9%, Asian, 50.2%, Indian 62% and White British 42.6%. That's why there is a need for a shift in the education system - blacks underperform for a myriad of reasons, but having an education system from nursery
to university which does celebrate the achievements and contributions of fellow black people would indeed help to give us reason to achieve more than we are currently. You cannot be what you cannot see.
7. Society of Merchant Venturers
member saying to me that he would ruin career if I didn't do what he asked.
8. Sitting with my chaperone at a dinner and who told me they didn't like black people, then went on to tell me why followed by, but you're not like most black people.
Having someone who we were out with say during conversation with the group, while looking straight at me - "no you can't say that, any more than you can say nigger in the woodpile!"
10. Constantly being racially profiled - if she is black, she is aggressive,
outspoken, opinionated, poor, potential thief, corrupt, lacking intelligence, liar, worthless. BLACK
So if you are asking what it is we want, it is to be treated with love and respect at all times and for the need to campaign against violence
and systemic racism towards us to no longer be necessary. Simple!
The next chapter of how to achieve this will, I believe, be a journey where we have to keep the door ajar and actively listen.
I used to find when leading schools the solutions
didn't always need additional money. They needed the right people at the helm and a platform to talk, listen and educate all, with commitment over compliance and justice over order. We have to be radical in our thoughts, resolve and actions. If you are prepared
to potentially talk, listen and change, so am I.