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Supporting the Anti-Racism Fight in Nottingham

7 June 20 words: Addie Kenogbon

It’s never been more important to come together and fight racial injustice, building stronger foundations of unity. Here are just a few ways you can get educated, step up and support the cause.

Racism. I can almost see and hear the uncomfortable shuffling of feet, averted glances and awkward clearing of throats already. Yet it’s a word that has roots that run so deep through the fibres of the world that it has fuelled hate globally, burning like wildfire for centuries. 

And, though it’s a topic that is certainly nothing new, the past few weeks have caused many to confront it head-on with the world left shaken by the lynching of Ahmaud Arbery, the murders of Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and David McAtee and the harrowing video of the unjust killing of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in the US.

Sparking discussions and outrage at the racial injustices that have gone on for years around the world, protestors in the US took to the streets to voice their rage and last Tuesday, millions chose to take part in a social media ‘blackout’ for the #BlackoutTuesday campaign as a mark of solidarity for the anti-racism cause. 

There are many who’ll say “Those tragedies, issues of racial injustice, inequality and police brutality are a US problem. We’re really lucky to not have any of that here in the UK.” 

However, sadly, they’d be wrong. It’s there when you look at the fact that in the UK, according to the Home Office and Ministry of Justice, in 2018-19, black people were more than nine times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people, were three times more likely to be arrested and more than five times more likely to have force used against them. It’s in the fact UK London ticket officer, Belly Mujinga died as a result of being spat on by a man claiming he had COVID-19, yet just a few weeks later, the decision has been made to close the case with no further action taken and no justice served.

And sometimes, it’s a little more subtle and in the casual questions of “Where are you from? But where are you really from?” Or open stares or invasions of personal space as a stranger on the street without asking grabs your hair to touch. Or it’s in the fact that UK job applicants with less foreign sounding names are less likely to receive call backs for interviews than those with English-sounding names.

If you’ve witnessed what’s been going on over the past few weeks or even years, you might be wondering what you can do. But, you might feel powerless to being able to affect change. Maybe you posted a black tile last Tuesday but now all the social media feeds have returned to technicolour pictures of food and selfies you’re unsure what else you can do to fight for equality both in the US and right here in the UK. 

Given that Nottingham has such a long history of black locals residing within the city since the 1600s and it’s reported that BAMEs make up 34.6% of the city’s population today, it’s never been more important for the city to come together and fight racial injustice, building stronger foundations of unity.

Here are just a few ways you can get educated, step up and support the cause:

Step up
Get involved with Race on the Agenda (ROTA), a leading UK policy think-tank that focusses on the issues affecting BAME communities. 

Join the Black Lives Matter UK – Nottingham Activists group. Their Facebook page is full of useful resources and information as well as info for how you can get involved here in the UK.

Sign the Justice for Belly Mujinga petition which was set up to seek justice for the death of Belly Mujinga as a result of being assaulted while at work by someone with COVID-19.

Become a member of Hope Not Hate, an organisation established to “offer a more positive and engaged way of doing anti-fascism”.

Email your local MP and ask them what they’re doing within the community to publicly support racial equality and anti-racism.

UKBLM Go Fund Me - Black Lives Matter UK (BLMUK) have been fighting for racial injustices in communities for many years. They’re committed to dismantling “imperialism, capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy and state structures that disproportionately harm black people in Britain and around the world.”

Stephen Lawrence Trust - Working with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds aged 13 to 30 to broaden their view of what’s possible.

Stop Hate UK - An organisation set up to help tackle hate crime and discrimination happening here in the UK, while encouraging reporting and providing support for the individuals and communities affected by it.  

The United Families & Friends Campaign (UFFC) - An organisation set up to support those affected by deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody.

Read and Learn
How To Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi 

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Me and White Supremacy: How to Recognise Your Privilege, Combat Racism and Change the World by Layla Saad

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

They Can’t Kill Us All: The Story of Black Lives Matter by Wesley Lowery

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch

Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga 

The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla

Natives by Akala

13th – A thought-provoking documentary by Ava DuVernay.

Just Mercy – A drama starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx highlighting the issues of systematic racism.

When They See Us – An Ava DuVernay drama based on a true story about five black teens from Harlem falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park. 

If Beale Street Could Talk – A Barry Jenkins film about a black couple in the 1970s whose lives are shaken by a wrongful accusation.

The path to ending systemic racism in the US TED Talk

How to deconstruct racism, one headline at a time TED Talk

We need to talk about an injustice TED Talk

Support Local Nottingham Causes
Black Friends - A creative platform that aims to raise awareness on all things race and identity through the power of blogs, podcasts, panel discussions and live music.

Community Recording Studios - Set up in 1991, the Community Recording Studio, based in St Anns, teaches film and video skills as well as music, giving youngsters access to professional equipment and key industry contacts, including musicians like Estelle and Aloe Blacc.

The charity has been running for over 20 years, and was founded by members of the local community who have first-hand experiences of the needs of young people growing up in the area.

Himmah - A grass roots community based initiative providing services to tackle poverty, racism and social exclusion.

The New Art Exchange – The largest gallery in the UK dedicated to culturally diverse contemporary visual arts.

Nottingham Women’s Centre – An organisation which supports women in the city seeking asylum, facing extreme poverty or escaping abuse.

Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive so if you’ve got any others to include, let us know. 

Ultimately, it’s about changing habits and attitudes that last a lifetime not just this week but for years to come.

This is a live, working document - if you have any other suggestions or initiatives to add, please get in touch at [email protected] and we will add them to this list of resources.

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