I recently had an amazing conversation with Sharon Hurley Hall on racism and during the conversation we shared instances where we were made aware that Anti-Blackness is worldwide.
By now I hope you all are aware of the racial discrimination that has made its appearance center stage regardless of the conditions because racism never sleeps. Refugees without white skin, blonde hair or blue eyes are being violently discriminated against and being asked to fight for a country unwilling to see them as human. "We are Black so how can we fight for Ukraine?”
This discrimination is not new but it's disheartening to see it happen even in times of war.
During the episode Sharon shared a time when "a barman called [her] the N word". She remembers when living in France "people would stare at [her], some people would follow [her] around, a few people would shout things out. She remembers minding her own Black business in Germany while "sitting in a cafe, and these two white Swiss guys saying something about this Black person at the next table." She said she knew just enough German to realize who they were talking about.
These experiences she shared reminded me so much of my life outside of the United States. I was stationed in Japan for six years and spent a lot of time in different countries. So many of my experiences centered around my Blackness. I remember having drunk Japanese men yelling at me on the train, repeating "Kokujin". I remember detaching to Australia and being told they "don't play certain music so they don't attract aboriginals", who I looked very similar too. I remember visiting a northern part of Japan alone and being asked what "my nightly fee" was.
In all these instances our Blackness was taken and made into the only reason needed to dehumanize us.
Towards the end of her recounts, Sharon Hurley Hall makes clear that she never allows people "get away with that." She refuses to let people "get away with assuming that [she doesn't] stuff and that [she doesn't] have personal power." Anti-Blackness is most certainly world wide but so is our ability to refute it.
Here are some amazing resources to confront Anti-Blackness in ourselves and others:
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