Black Effects of Living in White Situations
Updated: Oct 8, 2018
“White privilege is a manipulative, suffocating blanket of power that envelops everything we know, like a snowy day.” - Reni Edo Lodge.
Are you black and have you spent most of your life growing up in white situations?
At home, on your street, in your shops, at school, at work, at the doctors/dentist, even when your on a family holiday, where ever you go day to day, and it seems like you're only one or one of a handful of black people in a white situation.
I have (though that's slowly changed as I've got older with growing diversity in my city).
And I think there's a long-term effect of growing up in a white situation. To figuring out our identity and to eventually coming to a more precise definition of who we are.
I am human. I am a person of colour. I am mix-d. I am black. Woo, I've finally come out!
That effect can feel like a mix of woops and arghs!
This increased (overweening at times) sense of self-awareness of who I am and where I am.
That is, I'm for the most part the only black person, right now, in this white situation and it can if I let it, slowly driving me insane.
I have periods where listen to music, when I go out, as a form of escapism to cope with these white situations (although a little less since I wrote this).
I feel like I'm suffocating (under a blanket as Reni Eddo-Lodge puts it) in whiteness. I feel more like an outsider than ever before some days.
I just want to escape this white situation and be in a less white case.
Why? It can at times, feel like it's boring. It's ugly. It's peculiar. I live in a city where 90.6% of the population is white British or other (2011, Lincoln Research.
Observatory, excluding the Uni population, which is above the national representation of BMEs at 15.9%). I don't want to be the only black guy at work, 1 of 2 blacks guy living on my the street, the 2nd or 3rd black guy shopping in Tesco. And the worse one is feeling like the only black guy driving on the roads.
I've had enough. I'm allowed to go crazy after living in this white situation for years (28 of the 29 years of my life), and you are too!
I'm mindful though, as "There are risks to individuals in going through life on amber alert, with antennae quivering to pick up instances of racism, real or imagined." - Colin Grant.