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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 all who have been gracious; 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. 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. …

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…

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.

Black people have been doing the job for the oppressor: the oppressor sits, observes, smiles as the name they gave centuries ago is used and owned.

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; Why should they? …

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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. …

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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.

You find that anyone with an International Accent has a dominant twang.

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. …


Llyrio Boateng

British writer/director

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