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In light of the resumption of the Black Lives Matter movement after the recent spate of murders at the hands of United States police departments, people have been asking me about my own experiences of racism. After all, I do spent an awful lot of time talking about race both in its contemporary and historical contexts. I have spoken about the past and present violences that come with it, but I have been purposely vague in being specific of what happened to me in my own experiences of racism, racial discrimination, whatever you want to call it.I have been told by local community members that my opinion means something? …


When I started my undergraduate degree in the autumn of 2016, many said “uni will be the best years of your life.” They talked of how easy it was to make friends. I suppose that privilege comes with living as an extrovert in a world that was designed for extroverts in mind. Not so much the introvert. The pressure to make friends at university was intimidating to no end. However, now doing my postgraduate, I am bit more content. Pressure-free. …


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Photo by pan xiaozhen on Unsplash

Microaggressions can be so subtle that neither the perpetrator or the victim may even realise that what is happening is racism. “Can I touch your hair?” — “Where are you from? No, where are you really from?” — “You are so articulate” — “your name is hard to pronounce” — the white woman that grabs her purse / handbag as a Black man walks past. What about those who are Multiracial, where microaggressions can present themselves differently? “You don’t look like your mom / dad is white?” — “You don’t look Mixed-Race” — “What are you?” — “That’s hot” — “You’re the best of both worlds.” …


Whilst I know “Mixed-Race” includes people from the unions of various racial / ethnic groups, this post focuses on those from (Black) African/Caribbean and White European relationships

For a while now I have been having lots of conversations with friends and colleagues that identify as Mixed-Race. Whether they call themselves Multiracial, Mixed-Race or Biracial, there are multiple terms for the people that do not fit into the monoracial boxes society assumes for us. Whether we’re talking two (bi) or multi (two or more). In the not so distant past, the derogatory term “half-caste” was a socially accepted term, and it is still used to varying degrees. …


Going to school as a youth, I was told West Indian history began in 1492, with the arrival of Christopher Columbus and his soldiers — “in fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue”, said my history teacher when I was ten years old. And that Black meant Caribbean, with no word about the Black histories of rebellion during colonialism but also no word of the African history that occurred before the arrival of Europeans. Now, we know that this history goes back millennia. …


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Photo by Peter Idowu on Unsplash

Having lived with my younger brother more closely these last six months since the lockdown, I have seen him become more in tune with himself. What I have also seen is a shift in what it could possibly mean to be a child in this world, as the gap widens between innocence and experience. When I was a boy, for me, innocence was Winnie the Pooh and the 100-Acre Wood and reading Enid Blyton novels. My brother is twelve years my junior and is really the first generation to grow up with the internet. There are a few saying that the Coronavirus pandemic has taken away this generation of children’s innocence. …


When I hear people talking about ‘decolonising the curriculum’, I often see lots of confusion about what decolonisation means. I have seen bids to ‘diversify the curriculum’, and these two terms are not the same. I have seen academics conflate diversity work and decolonial work. To diversify reading lists and course content is only part of the problem; I think the aim of decolonisation is to deconstruct knowledge production. It’s as much about how we produce knowledge as the knowledge itself. …


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Some Like It Hot 1959 (United Artists)

Looking at our forever ongoing group chat, this ongoing conversation (now months old) also includes (not Harvard) references to The Youth of Yesterday (age 30+) or Yesteryear (if you’re ancient, ahem). It’s really quite amusing. Am I The Youth of Today? I hadn’t listened to any Stormzy until he did Glastonbury and our conversations around “Vossi Bop” really are worthy of critical acclaim. Is one’s youth status pigeon-holed to their date of birth? …


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Photo by Myke Simon on Unsplash

The past few weeks we’ve been in isolation is the longest period I’ve gone without going to the cinema in four years. As a holder of a Cineworld card, the cinema comes as natural to me as breathing. However, seemingly, with the arrival of streaming platforms, including Netflix and Amazon Prime, as well as access to films through torrenting, fewer people are going to the cinema when we can watch films at home with the added bonus of pausing it when you want to go to the toilet. And going to the cinema with your family is a pastime that millions of people across the world take part in. …


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Star Wars Episode V: Empire Strikes Back (LucasFilm)

Television in 2020 is where film was at in the 1970s. Though, I also question if my recent critique of the industry is simply golden age thinking. That in believing that industry is lawless because the gatekeepers care more about money than creativity, where once there was a healthy mix of both. Are today’s mainstream films made for me? Am I the audience for it? In the tint of toxic fan bases (big up Star Wars) Or if simply, most films made today are just bad? When I go to the cinema, do I think too hard or do I have unrealistic expectations? …

About

Tré Ventour

Multiracial writer | speaker | poetry | education | mental health | Educator: race / Black History workshops | MA student | treventour.com

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