This is inspired by a blogger whose blog is about various books that they are reading every week throughout the year. The blogger’s name is Ashley and she sparked my interest in having a conversation about race in Britain when she discussed a novel written by Reni Eddo-Lodge, a journalist who no longer likes talking about race to white people.
This may or may not be funny to you depending on your age group. But, every time I think about Britain I think about the well written screen play, “Skins” that has been on Netflix for quite some kind. Interestingly, when I was looking for an image to feature onto this post I could barely find any that featured some of their colored characters.
Let’s talk about it.
When I was in high school suffering from my earliest experiences with all things hormonal this show was amazing. It helped me to realize that my life wasn’t that bad. But, what it failed to do was normalize race.
You see, my skin is black and my hair is “nappy” so when there are constant TV shows that are promoted due to their caucasian normalization it can be hard to accept myself as being part of reality.
Seeing as though I was fifteen when I was first exposed to Skins the problem is that I was fifteen when I had my very first interaction of what life is like in Britain.
Subconsciously, it was programming me to believe that the entire world is white and I’m the minority. That isn’t true at all.
Europe is facing an immigration problem, right now as we speak, so for a TV show to be aired onto Netflix for millions to watch it is quite disappointing that race relations aren’t shown in a different manner. It suggests that black people can take a back seat.
But black people are not sitting in the back, in fact many along side other minorities are at the forefront of evoking change in Britain.
This image is from an interesting article titled, Racial inequality in UK: The appalling reality of how a Briton’s ethnicity affects their chances of a good life, and it was written by May Bulman in 2017. It shares how years and years after slavery Britain still has a long way to go with integrating colored people into its society. There is still a sense of “othering” that happens leaving so many homeless, unemployed, and feeling inadequate throughout its nation.
But, before we can understand just why Britain is resistant to the change we have to take into account the history of the land.
Britain was never really at the forefront of slavery. This country only received the goods such as the many spices, infrastructure, and other resources. There was no such thing as being a “minority” in Britain because they didn’t exist with all that was occurring during the late 1800s in America. The rest of the world was closed off in the eyes of the British.
So, the resistance to change is imbedded in its long history of being a pure white nation. In its pure whiteness the students who are of color don’t get to be stars in TV shows that they played amazing roles in. It is a blessing that Letitia Wright came from London with as much as talent that she has, however, it is important to consider some of the complex racial biases that she went through to be where she is today.
And, although there are some who would argue that Britain isn’t as bad as it seems it is important to consider just what city you’re in as well as the kinds of racial experiences you’ve personally had.
As for now, we have to realize that race in Britain is a huge conversation but another topic to comment on is the problem with the depiction of color on television and how stereotypes are spread about cultures worldwide.