Today was #BlackPoundDay! A day created by @swissworld_ urging us to focus our attention on supporting black owned businesses. And by “us”, I don’t just mean my melanated brothers and sisters, I mean everybody. It’s been such a power day and I’ve been so excited to learn just how many black businesses there are out there. Now that we know what’s in our reach that’s local to us, we have zero excuse but to remain actively consistent wherever we can. The coins we spend at our local supermarket can easily be placed into a black owned business. I know it’s easier to purchase from what we know, but these chains won’t miss our coins until they realise the effects of not receiving our coins. The plantain in this photo, a staple in most black households, was not bought from a black merchant. But I’d like to. Majority of the products in our kitchen and bathroom cabinets are not black owned. But it would be fab if they were. We’re consuming the hell outta this world, it bleeds the black community dry and leaves us, once again, without. But the tide is changing, and I’m ready to move with it. Any pages/websites you’ve come across, please drop the names below. Including your own. Especially businesses in north west & west London, as I’ve noticed a lack of options on the lists I’ve seen.
It's National Windrush Day today. This very day in 1948, The Empire Windrush brought over many of our parents and grandparents who came to rebuild a bombed Britain and start a new life. All now, people try to wash over that fact, though Black people were integral to the reshaping of Britain. I don't know what Britain would look like if it wasn't for this moment in history. I mean, the NHS and the London transport system would be a whoooole lot different, for one. And I sure wouldn't have the life I have today! Pft, I may not even be here. Imagine moving your whole family to a new, cold country, finally settling in against all odds, only to be thanked with a knock on the door telling you you're being deported or arrested for living in the country you were invited to 70 years later! Like, 'Cheers for your services and that, but we don't need you here anymore.' Even though they were actually British citizens merely exercising their right to be in another commonwealth country. Think on that... Anyway, all this, and still we rise. I'm so grateful to come from this level of internal power. And if you're lucky enough to still have your grandparents on this earth, please thank them for me. They made me. And in return, I'll make them proud of that sacrifice. Salute. ????????????
I love wide brim hats and Inspector Gadget mac's because of this man. Thank you for passing down the steez, the elegance, long lashes and intermittent camera shyness. #HappyFathersDay to all those who father little black girls and teach them how to be a lady. She knows she's a little Queen because she sees you, dear King, as the example. And as she grows up, she's gonna know exactly what energy she's walking down these streets with. So when she creates her own table, she can pass that over to those who sit with her. Here's to you and the great work you do.
A new word for us to own and use #kneeneck - The relentless brutal, centuries long terrorisation, stifling asphyxiation and oppression of Black people, Black culture and Black lives.
It has a name, call it out.
Three years on, 72 lives gone, over a hundred families left homeless, still no justice, and I will never be able to drive through this part of the area I was brought up in without a heavy heart. Thank you for everything you have been doing @grenfell_united @grenfell_not_forgotten @officialj4g. Please follow them, stay informed and learn of what you can do. #ForeverInOurHearts
My mum said, "I wonder what your Nan would've made of this time..." As an immigrant, as someone who had to shrink herself to fit into a society that never accepted her, walk past windows with signs saying, 'NO IRISH. NO BLACKS. NO DOGS', contribute so much to a country that quite literally spat in her face and STILL walk that melanin down these London streets Queening the hell outta life... I believe my Nan would say, 'Thank you for continuing the fight. DON'T EVER STOP, YOU HEAR ME?" She never did until the day she left this earth, and nor will we.
“You were born into a society which spelled out with brutal clarity, and in as many ways as possible, that you were a worthless human being. You were not expected to aspire to excellence: you were expected to make peace with mediocrity. Wherever you have turned, James, in your short time on this earth, you have been told where you could go and what you could do (and how you could do it) and where you could live and who you could marry. I know your countrymen do not agree with me about this, and I hear them saying, ‘You exaggerate.’”
These are but a few pages putting in the work. Visit, sign, raise your voice, channel your anger:
The last line of this chorus is hard to achieve when the pain is so thick in the air right now. It’s all consuming. We aren’t afforded the opportunity to “live it up” in our gardens freely and happily, or walk on the streets, or go for a run peacefully. Or even feel safe during lockdown when we’re seen and treated as disposable on these streets by a system that is sickeningly worsening by the second! I don’t have enough words for the pain of this week and the last few weeks, years, decades, ALL OF IT! I’ve cried a lot, I’ve discussed a lot. While Mother Nature has been healing, we have been absorbing even more torture and more trauma. But please, people, while we are fighting for change, keep your vibrations high! Protect your energy. It’s important our frequencies are on 100 during these times. We cannot allow this pain to eclipse our love for self and inner balance entirely. Albeit hard. Our mental health needs our care and attention immediately. Find your favourite way to release. Write, sing, workout, draw, shout, call a friend. Empower someone you haven’t spoken to in a while in the way you know best. Cry together, plan together. Do what you can. Don’t be fooled, I thought I’d be able to bring out all the spiritual apparatus today and meditate away my morning. I went for a 2 mile run, made this set up and ended up using reggae to release as I stared out the window thinking about George Floyd. If anyone wants to express below, please do.
Thank you @essence for featuring me in your 50th Anniversary issue! And to the incredible team behind this day. My mum sat beside me throughout this shoot, proud as hell. Here's her energy frozen in time as a gift to the world.
Thank you to those who travelled across the globe to help create the NHS in its inception. To the doctors, nurses, carers, emergency medical dispatchers, lab staff, porters, administrators, cleaners and everyone who doesn't get their light, thank you for your strength during this indescribable time. We salute you. #BlessTheNHS????????⚕️????????⚕️????????????