I have made a handbook for Black people who want to better support other Black people. We are not a monolith: some of us need more help than others, and some of us need very different kinds of help. This handbook is a conversation starter – some ideas to consider if you want to ensure ALL Black Lives Matter, not just the ones currently trending. A Trans and disabled Black person is going to have different needs than a young cisgender Black person living in a predominately Whyte country. We Black people are all individuals and our identities don’t stop after others see the colour of our skin. Included in the handbook is a list of resources for more information on each of the points.
This handbook is also useful for Whyte people and Non-Black Indigenous people or Non-Black People of Colour. I hope you can learn about the complexities of living as a Black person, and all the battles we have to fight on multiple fronts. I hope you can gain an increase in empathy and understanding, because we need as much help as we can get.
Below is a zine I made several years ago about loneliness and how marginalised people are affected in a profound way by it. The zine is free, but if you’d like to put something in my tip jar you can do it HERE
Colourism could not exist without white supremacy, internalised racism, and the lust for proximity to whiteness.
Colourism often includes the following:
Skin bleaching, using products often banned due to their toxicity, but readily available in grocery shops and pharmacies anyway.Often these products are endorsed by celebrities.
Powerful chemicals used on children’s hair to appear straighter.
Dark-skinned babies being unwanted/abandoned
Descriptive terms once used during the Transatlantic Slave Trade, used by POC in the present day.‘Nappy hair’ is just one example.
Dark-skinned people who are Jewish or Latina denied their heritage because they’re ‘too dark’.
People of Colour with darker skin treated less favourably than white people or those with lighter complexions.This treatment includes jobs, dating and relationships, systems of law, and victims of crime to name just a few.
Colourism occurs when POCs with lighter skin tones and straighter hair are called “Fair” whilst POC with darker skin tones and/or untreated hair are called N—.This happened to a relative in my old family who was darker than the rest of us.
Previously-colonised and enslaved countries are often the worst at perpetuating colourism, and it’s often due to the introduction of European/White beauty standards as the only acceptable way to be.‘Uglification’ ties into colourism when POC are encouraged to hate their very beings.Uglification is a concept first introduced to me by Vanessa Rochelle Lewis (@the.ugly.black.woman on Instagram).Her tag line “Reclaiming our bodies/ freedom from Uglification! Centering our joy, pleasure, expression, and creativity. Exploring the potency of sensuality for Art” fights against colourism, racism and other types of hate directed at POC for being who they are.
Colourism isn’t just how your skin and hair looks, but it often becomes entwined with other forms of oppression like ableism, fatphobia, hatred of disfigurements and classism.
Colourism is cruelty on a global scale.It’s not just poisoned skin and damaged hair, but toxic attitudes that impact on our mental health, hurting already-vulnerable people.All of this for a dream that POC will be treated better, go further in life, and be happier because they gain proximity to whiteness in all its forms.
When a very brief exchange reminds you why you don’t miss the white middle class bicon world that much any more. (by extension all the other white and middlecass ‘alt’ worlds: lgbtq, kink, geek etc etc)
so so much emotional labour of explaining racism (and you know you’ve got problems if IM explaining classism too coz i am one of the people who gets it) of being expected to explain/educate, because an ‘activist’. (activist, not masochist doormat/your personal/community resource)
I had to cut off completely from a scene that I’d worked/loved/fucked/found myself in over ten years.
It became no longer possible to be in that scene without being shut down/told off for being ‘unreasonable’ /angry or being a version of me that fanned my internalised racism.
But there are so few spaces which are not shit for bi people. Basically are there any that aren’t organised primarily by bi people?
That’s part of why I stayed so long, and it was a huge huge loss stepping away.
That’s why bi’s of colour, which Jacq Applebee and I founded, has been a fucking lifeline.