Anti-Racist School Setting Action Plan

blogging

I have been very quiet recently, partly due to co-authoring this.

This document is a collaboration by teachers, parent activists and community workers to provide a strategy and resources to support schools with their transition to an Anti-Racist school setting.
“Education is the strongest weapon we have to change the world.”
Nelson Mandela
Please share widely and meet with school leaders! Let’s be change we wish to see! X
Accessible version available on request by emailing: supperclubsisterhood@gmail.com
For updated versions or further information please contact:
@brixtonhousewife
@rarasisboomba
@mami_health

#MEGXIT A Very British Fairy Tale

Life Beyond The Kitchen Sink

Once upon a time there was a tiny island surrounded by blue.

The Kingdom was a proud Kingdom- ruled by a Queen.

The inhabitants dwelled in a golden time of yesteryear and never was.

The Nation prided itself on a heroic past where the Sun never set. Their identify easily identified by their desired homogeneity.

For the love of their Kingdom they loved their Queen. And although her name and blood descended from foreign lands, her skin was as pale as the powder puff clouds that often covered the sky of the little island. So the privilege of belonging to the Great Nation was bestowed upon her crown.

Many years passed and the beloved Queen married her third cousin from lands a far.

She bore four doting children of mixed blood but all graced with skin as translucent as the drops of rain that fell from the grey sky.

Three Princes the Queen did birth.

Princes full of love.

Oh how the Second Prince loved young girls! How he would spend hours on end in the company of damsels- oblivious to their distress. Feasting on golden platters of Sloppy Giuseppes without even breaking a sweat! He was beloved by his Queen and his country. The trumpets declared: a jester he may be at times but his heart was as pure as his delicate but slightly clammy skin.

Oh and the King to be!

So full of love that whispers often caressed the breeze with tales of how the eldest Prince did love the household staff.

So stoicicly loyal to his Sweetheart that he remained faithful even when faced with the misfortune of being married to Another.

Another, guilty of being the Prince’s choice of Queen Not, received a royal pardon by way of two dashing sons to capture the heart of the nation.

Once again the Queen smiled upon the continuation of her House. Two Grand sons both of pale nature-only hair colour to tell them apart.

But all was not well in the Kingdom! The young Princes’ mother would not socialise within the guilded box her royal status bequeathed. No longer silenced by her crown, she danced on Dark Sands in Tarnished Lands.

The Kingdom was in uproar!

A blood thirsty pack was set upon her. In a dark tunnel in a land across the sea she perished- living her little Princes adorned in black.

Time passed and the people forgot. The young Princes grew strong and handsome. They too found love.

The Prince Who Would Be King, set about the duty of presenting to the Kingdom a future queen to make the Nation proud.

A fairy tale. The Prince who married a pauper (by millionaire standards) The future Queen- a Snow White of their very own. The people cheered. She was beautiful! They were proud!

Alas, the younger Prince followed not in his brother’s foot steps. He danced on the same dark sands as his mother had. In a foreign land he met his own Queen of Hearts.

The bugles sounded! The people had been betrayed! It was incredulous that their handsome Prince would choose her over the fairest in all the land.

How dare their prince soil their nation with a tarnished love. It was as simple as black and white. The Prince’s Queen could never truly belong!

The angry pack despised the Young Prince’s Queen just as they had despised his mother. She could no right.

And so she was hounded, even as her unborn child sought refuge behind her navel, she was hounded.

Day after night, night after day, on digital platforms and front covers spread, the couple were harrassed.

The Queen continued to rule the waves but remained silent.

Then on a grey, overcast day, the young couple planned an escape!

They would surrender all heirs and graces and retreat to welcoming lands a far.

But the crowds jeered.

The Queen voiced her dismay at the young couple’s desire to abandon their Great Nation.

Still the couple could do no right!

But fear not! The young couple realised that the Kindgom was founded on institionalised racism thus would never be satisfied with a royal member who glowed with a “funny tinge”.

Thus from that day forward, it was decided by the Banished Pair that the haters and hate spreaders of the land could go and truly F&£k themselves.

Merrily the they left the tiny island surrounded by blue and lived happily ever after.

The End.

Movie in cinemas soon.

2020 Vision

Nursery

Preface into the post below

When I first filed for divorce I sent a group message to all my friends so it was out there. No elephants in the Whats Up groups so to speak.

Many of my friends outside my close circle were shocked.

“We thought you had the perfect life!?!”

I was equally shocked by their view of my life. Since that revelation I have tried to be as open about life’s ups and downs as possible with hopes that anyone in a similar situation sees their journey reflected in mine and knows that they are not alone. Xxx

2020 Vision

This decade I have got married and got divorced.

Been pregnant three times given birth once.

Bought two houses but for almost two years was effectively homeless.

Excitedly danced in front of a televised audience of 26.3 Million and been petrified of performing poetry to a group of 50.

Almost died trapped in a house fire in Lagos and swum naked in the Ionian Sea.

Abandoned my passions, embraced them again and found new channels of expression.

Traveled unapologetically.

Moved to Nigeria, came back early-unapologetically.

Almost died three times. Lived my “best life” many more.

Freed myself from friendships and relationships no longer for me and founded the Sisterhood Supperclub.

It has been a decade of many firsts and hopefully many lasts.

I started the decade thinking I had found love and end it rekindling my selflove and finding heart bursting joy and unconditional love in the smile of my beloved (not a)baby(anymore) boy.

Xx🖤xX

🎉Happy New Year everyone!! 🎉

Playing the race card

education, livingroom

In a recent interview the “Head of Britain’s ‘strictest school” claimed that black children were using the ‘race card’ when in trouble.

The rhetoric is that of an aging, white, conservative male trying to dismiss the divisive legacy of the British empire but the words belong to a youngish “women of colour” (pictured above).

I wonder how she can feel so comfortable with her blackness being used to validate the notion that racism does not exist in the education system.

I wonder how her family feels when her words are used as ammunition to shoot down the varied and valid experiences of BAME people. How confortable they feel that knowing she has told parents to ignore reports of racism from their children. 

With her claim that troublesome black children play “the race card’, I wonder if the irony that her race is the only reason she’s being given air time is lost on her?  Does she realise that she’s the black ace being played by racists?

Racists who use her words as soundbites to prevent education reform.

And as school “Punishments”  which disproportionately affect BAME students, align more and more with prison systems (solitary/isolation booths, saturday detentions, detentions for low level behaviours etc) our schools need reforming.

Our National Curriculum, underpinned by Britain’s perspective of history as a PR exercise – needs reforming.

Testing methods which rely on teacher assessment, easily suspectable to teacher bias – needs resisting.

Catchment areas of *good schools*drawn around property prices – needs revising.

The reduced government funding – needs reversing.

Obviously, this not a post discussing whether teachers are or are not racist. I am referring to the structural racism in our education system (see below for further reading) harming our children.  The children that head teachers should be trying to protect, not further alienate.

TBH xx

Recommended Reads x

Tell It Like It Is-How Our Schools Fail Black children

Natives by Akala

 “How the West Indian Child is Made Educationally Subnormal in the British School System”

 

Don’t lose your vote

Life Beyond The Kitchen Sink, livingroom

Last Sunday I was prevented from voting during a local Parliamentary Candidate vote. After queuing for almost an hour with my son, I was informed I would not be able to leave the hall until the vote had concluded four hours later. 4 hours with a 5 year old and no childcare facilities or activities.

I had to leave.

I lost my vote. 

I wasn’t alone.

Many other parents and carers had to leave because they couldn’t commit to staying the full four hours with dependants to care for.

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But rather than just complain, we took action so that parents would not be excluded at the following vote. At the following canidate elections we (parents unable to vote previously) organised a drop in creche so that parents could stay and vote this time around.

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We must make getting involved in politics more family friendly. Our vote is too important to lose.

The outcome of this general election puts the NHS, education and fire services.. ALL public services at risk.

It is estimated that there have been 130,000 “preventable” deaths as a direct result of austerity cuts.  We can not survive another Conservative (or Liberal Democrat coalition) Government.

Screenshot_20191106_220551Our planet cannot survive another Government that only serves corporations profits and personal interests.

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Don’t just suffer or complain about how awful this Government is.  Register to vote. Support friends, family and vulnerable people in your community with voting-make sure your voices are heard.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-5015581

This is the time to come together and bring change for the many not the few.

TBH xx

Retrograde State of Mind

blogging, Life Beyond The Kitchen Sink

Mercury Retrogrades have had a bit of a bad rap since their recent reincarnation into modern pop culture.

when-you-wake-up-and-realize-its-mercury-retrograde-moongazingangel-35396563

By memes and astrology pages alone, Mercury in Retrograde would be up there with four horseman and the front page of The Daily Mail as something bound to ruin your day.

But perhaps our Sun’s closest neighbour is just a misunderstood planet whizzing around a massive orb of fire on a slightly wonky orbit.

Mercury-Retrograde-meme-by-_inked.mystic

To be clear, I’m not trying to test fate when I talk down the tumultuous energy which MiR is notorious for. But the fact that Mercury isn’t travelling backwards during its “retrograde”, (it just appears that way from our perspective on Earth) and that it is the fastest (orbit speed) planet in our solar system makes  me wonder whether it’s we humans who have our wires crossed. 

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In fact, Mercury’s orbit actually pushed ancient scientists to finally let go of their beloved notion that the Earth was the centre of the universe. As dented as those eggheaded egos were, their acceptance of an unwelcome truth literally expanded their universe infinitely.

So maybe Mercury in Retrograde is just simply a good time to reflect and accept unwelcome truths in order to expand and evolve?

Screenshot_20191030_200725And as the last retrograde of 2019 approaches, I am going to welcome it as an opportunity to take time to digest and reflect.

Naturally, I mean this literally as well as figuratively as the women’s network that I Co founded, Sisterhood Supper Club, will be hosting it’s first open invite dinner. (12 courses, no less)

Digestion AND trying something new, truly a retrograde State of mind…

During this retrograde, see if you can raise a toast every time you..

Screenshot_20191029_214232

Ideas by @foreverconcious

Cheers to that! Happy retrograde and Halloween everyone!

TBH xx

 

 

 

#itsOkNotToBeOk

livingroom

It’s hard to find a single person who hasn’t been touched by mental health. Whether a family member, partner or personally, the pressures of modern society are taking a toll on our collective mental health.

As part of World Mental Health Awareness day, people have been encouraged to share their experiences of mental health and combat the stigma attached. I hope all the shared experiences reach the people who need it.

Here’s mine.. XxX

In twelve months my whole life changed and crumbled – health, wealth, job, home, relationship – collapsed.

The little that remained of my confidence and identity (after being in a particularly pychologically abusive relationship) finally retreated.

The relentless onslaught of failures, health issues, work issues, battles and abuse kept my body permanently in fight or flight mode. I was overwhelmed and perpetually exhausted.

At times I asked my friends to assess my sanity. After years of abuse and gaslighting, I couldn’t be sure if my perception of reality was working properly.

The thought of depression often conjures pictures of unhappiness or numbness but for me I just felt exhausted. Birds singing made me smile and music could move me, but after so many knock downs the fear of the unknown future fuckery lurking around the next corner kept me living in the future and in a constant state of high anxiety.

To escape my thoughts often turned to suicide, not because I was unhappy, I just wanted to rest. I was too tired and didn’t want to keep battling, being “strong” or “dusting myself off”.

I remember one day feeling particularly trapped and full of self pity. I stared longingly out of a ninth floor hotel window wanting to jump. My responsibilities and beliefs meant that I could never commit suicide and tears streamed down my face at that reality. I saw death as a beautiful peace that I wasn’t allowed to have alive.

But it was also during that dark time that I realised that my friends unconditionally accepted me. Even in such a broken and needy state. They were there for me and I realised that I was worthy enough to receive their love.

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It was a couple of years before I could start to process and heal from all the trauma but I still feel blessed today knowing that each step of the way my friends were there.

Years later those times seem like another life, but I will never forget the kindness of my friends and the liberating lesson that we all are worthy of such kindness and love.

To all my friends and family that were there for me thank you xxxx

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/

Surrender To The Madness. Joker review

livingroom, review, reviews

The Joker is a master piece needed for this moment in time.

A time when unelected leaders shut down open debates by elected representatives in the name of democracy.

A time when protestors fighting to save our planet are imprisoned or attacked whilst the perpetrators of the crimes against humanity are rewarded by profits and protected by a bias media.

Where a person kills an innocent man in his own home and is given more sympathy than the victim because the killer was a white women and the victim was a black man- but we are told daily that modern society is colour blind.

We live in the age of cognitive dissonance and the mental illness it causes.

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Joker gets this. It is not an comic book action movie. It captures ground zero tipping point of extreme measure. The realisation that whilst living in crazy times carrying on as if everything is normal is the true sign of madness.

Cue manic laugh at the irony…

But in that manic cackle (that Phoenix pulls off so well) is the ghost of everytime you have ever laughed in disbelief or shrugged “Fuck This Shit” at the news or ridiculously shitty, unjust or unfair life moment.

That medicinal laughter that feels so good. Numbs your pain and mollifies your hope. Comic relief from the harsh realities of a fucked up world.

This is perhaps why the Joker is an uncomfortable watch for many. No we are not going to turn into an angry mob of murdering, looting psychopaths or think that Joker is the messiah returned. But Gotham reminds us too much of where we are right now.

But Batman isnt coming and our world is being led by a pack of Jokers.

Joker receives 🏅🏅🏅🏅🏅

But should come with a trigger warning regarding child/domestic abuse and mental health.

Should I stay or Should I go..

livingroom, london

Every time I’m by the sea, I feel at peace and never want to leave. But something always pulls me back to the big smoke…

I love the diversity, activity and randomness of London. I love my friends and family..

I love the ridiculous selection of weaves, wigs and shea butter at my local hair shop, the plethora of black owned vegan joints popping up everywhere and my beloved Suya stall.

I love attending pop up art exhibitions, crayfish parties, or a shoobs at the back of Jamaican take away all on the same day.

I love walking down the street and seeing people I know, children I’ve taught and my daily commuter friends who I’ll never know their names or where they’re going.

But the sea is still calling me.

Awfully Unlawfully

livingroom, politics

Last week I was back at Parliament for a class trip to teach the children about democracy..however it was a tad difficult to explain how we
live in a democratic society when we couldn’t watch any elected MPs debate as Parliament had been 🎉UNLAWFULLY🎉 prorogued by an unelected Prime Minister, selected by 92,153 people ( 0.002 %of voting population) the majority of which were old, rich white men. #justiceserved #fckboris

However in response to Labour’s plans to scrape private schools… I think it would be more productive to address the issues as to why people choose them for their children. I don’t necessarily believe that private schools automatically means a better academic education (more rounded generally–yes) but they definitely have more money and the opportunity to make connections/establish social status. Private schools are a reflection of the plutocracy in which we live, where how much you have, where you went to school, who you know and not what you know are the keys to success. This mindset has led to our country being governed by a handful of unqualified private school boys. But abolishing private schools won’t change that mentality or break the old boys network which has corrupted our society. Stopping the million pound tax rebates for private schools and reinvesting back into underfunded state schools is a good start though.. #etonmess #brexit #borisjohnson
#criminal #labour #schools #fuckboris #jc4pm

Poets Vs Gender Equality 

livingroom

  

  

To celebrate my birthday this year I decided to face my fear of public speaking and share a couple of my poems in public.  Quite a bold and surprising move considering that behind the carnival feathers and political rants, I am a very shy and private person. (No really, I am.)

Spurred on by the fantastic cause, my incredible friends and my desire to reclaim my voice and start my next orbit of the Sun as I mean it to continue, I danced onto the stage and tried to deliver my poem with all the gravitas the matter of gender equality deserved…. but settled for managing to get all the words out clearly and ending with a smile.  Although not a perfect performance-it was definitely fun and a learning experience and an absolute honour to take part in such an inspiring and important event.  Thank you @poetversus and UN Women, I am now officially a published poet! 
  
xx TBH xx

 https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4QCXr79Rkcw

The paper cut that would cost thousands..

garden, Gardening, politics

So last week I was reframing some artwork when I cut my thumb. The cut wasn’t that much bigger than a paper cut so besides washing away the blood, I basically ignored it, didn’t put a plaster on then started on the gardening…

By Saturday morning it had started to swell and become painful so I went to the local pharmacy for advice and was told to use Savlon and a plaster… So I continued about my business getting ready for a family trip to the coast on the Monday..

By Monday though, my thumb had swelled in size and throbing with pain so I decided to pop into the train station pharmacy before we jumped on our train to the seaside.

The pharmacist took one look and said I needed medical attention immediately.  Still not thinking it was that serious, I went to the local A&E only to be referred immediately to the plastics team hand specialists at St Thomas’ Hospital Line I  who admitted me straight way and booked surgery for the next morning.  The cut (No bigger than a paper cut!) had become infected and the infection had visible tracked along my vein up my arm and my tendons were at risk… The surgery went fine and I was discharged a couple of days later.

All the doctors and nurses kept saying I had just been unlucky for the cut to get infected… but actually I feel incredibly  lucky that this happened whilst we still have the NHS in the UK.  During my three day stay in hospital I probably racked up a bill of thousands… such a teeny tiny scratch resulted in xrays, A&E, anesthetists, surgeons, nurses, plaster, medication and hospital stay etc… It all mounts up and who could afford to pay that bill?  Maybe Boris Johnson and his millionaire cronies- but not me xx So once again I just want to say thank you to the NHS (and the caring dedicated staff) and I hope that we protect it as much as it serves and protects us! #protecttheNHS

Again thanks for the love and support from my fam and my special visitor 😊and yes I will always put a plaster on no matter how small the cut from now on  😂

TBH xx