Thanksgiving is approaching and I am conscious of this fact as my American friend who lives in London is keen to celebrate it. As a Brit, I’m clueless as to its meaning and need. Is it an American Christmas — a half-way one, perhaps; is it saying thank you to everyone who has done something for you; is it filling your table with mouth-watering, diligently prepared roasts while basking in the glow of your loved ones? I switched on my laptop and began my research. After reading articles from various sources, I settled on a piece on History.com. It was an insightful article, one that used the words ‘explorative expedition’, ‘Pilgrims’, ‘ settlers’ and in the same line ‘colonists’. Immediately I knew something was amiss. The piece, to me, read like a lesson on how to write euphemism. I couldn’t evade the nagging feeling that a vital part of the Thanksgiving story — its birth is long-buried with the perpetrators. Perhaps being West African and knowing the consequence of slavery on the continent and Britain’s ostensible purity of it, made me suspect omission of something sinister. All holidays have origin stories — some seemingly innocuous, hide an iniquitous past. …
Today, I decided to seek a new barber as I wasn’t happy with my current one. After all, I had both silently reproached and evaluated him; I’d given him plenty of opportunities to dissuade me from veering off.
As I walked out of the new barbershop from which I just had my hair cut, my old barber’s name appeared on my phone, calling. I intuitively sigh and then answer.
“Hey, are you ok?” “Yes,” I reply “what’s up?”
“I saw you coming out of the other guy’s barbershop. Did I do anything wrong?” I cringe “ Umm… No, nothing wrong at all; I just wanted to try something new.”
Part lie; part true.
I feel horrible.
I guess this is a sliver of the shame which engulfs a cheating spouse once caught?
Pre-pandemic, climate change concerns filled the pages of newspapers, magazines, blogs, social media feeds and was even shoe-horned into TV shows ( Big Little Lies Season 2) — the topic was unavoidable. Before its spotlight last year, it didn’t get anywhere near the attention it deserved; governmental efforts proved ineffective and mediocre at best.
Last year a Swedish teenager was thrust into the media: This bold 16-year-old became the face of climate awareness. Her face, her message and her displeasures became synonymous with an eco-conscious world. During this time there were reports that if drastic measures are not implemented, limiting global warming right down to 1.5C, …
When are we actually going to remove the N-word from our lexicon? The N-word need not only be removed but incinerated from our vocabulary. Any black person who uses it should be met with the same disdain and disbelief as non-blacks who use it.
How we have rationalised the use — proudly use a label given by an oppressor to instil inferiority, is unfathomable; sometimes we even use it derogatorily against our fellow man.
Musicians and writers include it in their work because they think it gives it that edge — some say it’s even cathartic to utter. Some may enjoy the quasi-secret club perk that comes with being black “If you’re not black, you can’t say it” — and yet, the N-word is repeatedly put in popular music. Even before Spotify, black music has been accessible and consumed by all. So I struggle to understand the logic in putting a word that only a few people can say in popular music. Have they stopped to think that when a non-black person is singing or rapping that verse in the comfort of their home that they won’t omit that word?! …
The topic of ‘Giving’ is rarely the subject of conversations. And I wonder if that is because so many of us think we are lacking. Norway is ranked as the happiest country in the world — and it is said to be down to the governmental help, and citizens helping one another. In a place of discourse, you’ll find an imbalance of giving and taking. In a conflict-ridden relationship, you’ll find a disproportionate amount of giving and taking. Many will stand tall and say that capitalism is very bad because a certain group of people are hoarding everything; this belief automatically means another group is being deprived. This is obviously at a macro-level. To bring it to a micro-level; In personal relationships, many are focused on taking — granted, they need so they go on a search to find. This fear of lack and loss creates disconnection — everyone fending for themselves. I’ve found that people are reluctant to share their knowledge; as if knowledge can be completely absorbed, leaving the source depleted. …
A friend just moved into his new apartment and invited me over for dinner. Upon my arrival, I was introduced to his other friend whom I had not met before, his housemate. As we exchanged names I noticed the rhythm with which he spoke and the stress on certain words; this immediately elicited a curiosity in me. Before I knew it the words “Where is your accent from?” left my lips.
Living in London I find myself asking this question very often as the city is a melting pot of people from all over the world. From my experience, It’s usually a great conversation starter as people see a genuine interest, an innocuous fascination that spreads across my face, beaming while I eagerly wait for an answer; their story. His reaction to my probing wasn’t any different; He tells me where his accent is from, which then segues into engaging and utterly unique accounts of his life thus far. He notices that I have a “twang”. “ what do you hear?” I reply. …