I never thought
being black was ever an issue
I never knew
being black meant something!

I never thought for a moment
being black meant being different,
actually being treated different…
no I stand corrected, being treated differently!

I thought I was secure in myself
Until the question of my race
was brought direct to my face…I mean brought directly to my face!

All these years cushioned in the diversity of London
Not really seeing ‘color’, but just mere people
People I realised now looked like me,
no not really, were similar to me…
BAME – the Black Asian and Minority Ethnic!

Of course we looked the same
We were the minority
Yet the majority,
in East London where I had lived and worked…many years!

I never knew being black meant something!

Now in the pool of the majority
Where my minority truly is minor
Face to face with the reality that I am black!
Oh My God! I am black,
Being educated of my ignorance
Ignorant to the fact that being black was different!

What an awakening!
What an incitement to the reality I needed to embrace my blackness,
recognise and acknowledge my roots!

Thirty years in the UK doesn’t make me English.
A tad of the RP accent doesn’t make me British.
Would forever be an immigrant
Even if I didn’t choose it.
Forever an immigrant
Even if the country of my origin is more foreign to me
than the country I am considered a foreigner.

I am black!

Never knew being black was an issue till now!

Embarrassed, at the issue of my own ignorance!

Please drop a comment, drop a line, let’s discuss. 🙂

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  • David O

    19/08/2018 at 11:42 am

    Similar experience to mine. Lived and worked in London until university in Liverpool. Neighbourhood was happy until the day I got attacked and the excuse was ‘ you’re black’. Police did nothing to help but now i found the strength in being a Blackman. Am strong, determined and resilient to face anything coming my way.

  • Abisola

    17/08/2018 at 9:44 am

    It’s so sad that this is the reality of a lot of people! Especially with house prices going up and people having to move further away from London.
    So sad.
    To be honest, slavery wasn’t that far back in history and I’m not sure if the effects of it would ever go away. A group of people thinking they’re better then the other and some people constantly trying to break this barrier! This curse!
    I might be pessimistic about this but I don’t see it getting better.
    Just sad!

    • Abi

      17/08/2018 at 11:32 pm

      Thank you for your comment. Personally, I don’t think it’s all gloom and doom because things are better than they were. However we can never say this issue is still not out there, and though some people may not outright in some cases come out and express their racist bias…it can be sensed through their actions, in the way they talk and respond to you. What I personally think is important is to use this to your advantage, a fuel of motivation propelling you forward to the best of you regardless of your surrounding. I am convinced, my character and hard work will speak for me, not the colour of my skin, no matter how hard I have to push. I will keep pushing. In some ways it pushes one to more self acceptance…Or what do you think? Thanks for taking time out to read and respond.

  • Soji Akanji

    16/08/2018 at 11:45 pm

    I lived and worked down south, London to be precise, for 10 years, I never had issues of race or colour.
    I moved up north, Greater Manchester over two years ago with family believing life would be better here raising my young family.
    At first I had issues at work. Being a black man, a manager at work was an issue among my white colleagues. They found it so had to take in.
    Sencond was the neighbourhood. I decided to live in a more affluent area but little did know I was on the watch of some people. They believe the area is too cool for a black family. True, My family was the only complete black family. I had an egg thrown at my window 2 days after Brexit.
    My Family never had peace, curtesy of our crazy neighbour until we decided to buy a new home and moved.
    Living in London never made me feel I am different but here up north I was made to realise that fact.

    • Abi

      17/08/2018 at 11:29 pm

      Thank you for sharing your experience. It’s always good to know we are not alone. It’s sad but this is the case when one moves out of London. Granted not everyone is the same where we go, but we do have some who do well to make your experience an unpleasant one. What’s mostly important, let’s keep our heads up, let’s keep pushing forward positively. The colour of anyone’s skin does not determine the level of their value or worth. Did you and your family move back to London or just out of that specific area? I’m interested in how you managed the issue. Thanks for taking time out to read and respond.


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