Two times last week – in this, the coldest March in 50 years, apparently – I put on an iro and buba. Both times, as I tied the wrapper securely about my waist, it occurred to me that London, England, is no kind of place for an iro and buba. And when I struggled to fit [...]
Category Archives: Identity
Here’s a little something I had in the drafts of my Tumblr for the longest time. I finally finished it and clicked ‘publish’. It’s below the jump, giving you one last chance to turn and run, should you wish to hurt my feelings – OMG, why would you do that?
Everyone calls me Bim. Everyone. For most of my life that’s what I’ve gone by. Bim. B-I-M. Three letters, one syllable. Bim. When I was concerned by these things, I would lament its cuteness – “that’s not a sexy name,” I would think. I would put on Billy Crystal’s voice and paraphrase his line from [...]
Yesterday was my 3oth birthday. I did nothing special – I didn’t even shower until about 4 o’clock. The night before, on a whim, I went to the cinema – alone – to see Skyfall. I sat in the dark with a hundred other people, coat in my lap, watching people pretend to beat and [...]
Here’s something I’ve been ruminating on for a while, forcibly brought to the forefront of my mind given recent events, so apologies if it’s not terribly coherent. A quick perusal of comments sections across the breadth of the internet throws up the ‘but do you want tokenism?’ defence. I mean, practically every comment section has [...]
Last week, my Tumblr dashboard threw up a teaser promo for Solange Knowles’ upcoming single, Losing You. I watched the clip (less than a minute long) three times in a row, liking what I heard and saw much more with each viewing. Then I re-read the blurb an earlier poster, Britticisms had written: Preview for the new [...]
“If you could live in any other era, when would you choose?” Around me, co-workers pick their favourites – a lot of attention is being showered on the 1920s and 1940s: “the dresses!”. Others pick the 60s: “swinging London, the music!”. You know, all the usual popular period suspects. Then my co-workers’ attention shift to [...]
I mentioned that I went natural back in January 2011. I cut off all my relaxed hair, bought a shit-ton of hoop earrings and became an advocate of eyebrow threading. I also began to watch a hell of a lot of YouTube videos about caring for and styling natural hair. I began to collect photos [...]
Last week on my Tumblr dashboard, Cord Jefferson (an excellent writer/editor person in NY) posted a video of Jon B’s ‘Are U Still Down?’. This is the video: Cord’s commentary went as follows: “Without Jon B. there would be no Drake. Belee dat.” And that’s the exact moment I fell in love with Cord Jefferson. [...]
Source All the talk of Lena Dunham’s new show, Girls, has had me looking into the annals (heh) of popular culture, searching for the representation so sorely lacking in Ms Dunham’s HBO creation. So, a quick question: Do any of the names on the t-shirt above ring any bells for you? They should. For eight [...]
When I hear women talk about their bodies – and it is something that we all seem to do, however enlightened we are – I find myself having to bite my tongue often. This is down to two things: I am in the privileged population, body-wise. I am slim, have proportionately large breasts, and long [...]
With the shock passing of Whitney Houston this past weekend (I wrote something about her for the Guardian here), it’s been the perfect time for the media to showcase their spectacular ignorance/laziness when it comes to the identification of black and ‘urban’ performers.
For the last few months, I have been thinking and vaguely discussing with my sister the idea of ‘something more than an oral history of Nigerians in Britain.” We all know Olaudah Equiano (hold tight, Nigerians in pre-1800 UK – braaap!) but how much do we know about the lives of British Nigerians over the [...]
I think every black British person on my Twitter timeline had seen the video of the woman who launched into a racist tirade on a tram somewhere in London before noon on Monday morning (watch it here if you fancy topping up your daily dose of rage, avoid if not – it’s pretty vile). A [...]
Yesterday on Facebook, I came across this post on Anglo-Nigerian publisher Jeremy Weate’s page: “In Aba, they make Italian-style shoes from Kano leather which are labelled “Made in Italy”. No one would buy them if they said “Made in Nigeria”, although everyone knows they are made locally. Nigerians don’t trust products made in Nigeria and [...]