Black-Only Spaces Are Necessary
I understand why all races are hesitant about the idea of black only spaces. Spaces specifically created by us, for us, because nobody else is going to do it for us with their best intentions.
I get it, but this isn't segregation and it isn't based on hate or a dislike of any other race/ethnicity. These black spaces are necessary, we need spaces (safe spaces) that allow black people to deal with the problems and issues that we are facing.
Black British people are more likely to be admitted to hospital for mental illness - but are less likely to use mainstream services. pic.twitter.com/Wc7BRserGI— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) October 17, 2016
Channel 4 posted this on twitter, and the comments were disgusting! It was full of white people dismissing black issues (as usual). When you're privileged you don't have to think about your race affecting your mental health. The video was about how black men and women struggle to seek mental help from professionals because the majority of these professionals are white middle aged males. There's no point pretending that "mental health doesn't see colour" because as a black person I'm well aware of the attitudes towards mental health in the black community. The more I hear about black people's mental health stories, the more I understand how dangerous it is for us to not seek help. However I also understand why people would hesitate when it comes to seeking those services, knowing that they will have to speak on being black and black issues as well as speak about the connection to mental health. This hesitancy just means there's thousands of black people out in the world dealing with mental health issues. It's damaging and should be taken seriously.
Black spaces won't be about and is not about hating white people and not wanting to be around them. It's about doing the work that needs to be done to improve ourselves and to better our future melanin filled babies.
I don't think people should bring up the idea of segregation when speaking about black spaces, when schools that are diverse do the bare minimum to address diversity and to teach us and others about the history of people of colour. What's the point of having diverse spaces if the focus is only on white people and white history?
We need black spaces so that we can address; misogyny, homophobia, colourism, hyper-masculinity, self care, hair, mental health, abuse, poverty, sex and black history (and many more things that I've probably missed).
We need more diverse black films and shows. I get the whole street life/gang life stories, it's relevant but it's so over done. I'm sure we've seen way too many slavery or gang movies, we need more diversity, a selection of different stories so that there's a expansion to what it means to be black and what life as a black person is like. I think a lot of the reason why we are seen as stereotypes is because we are influenced by the media and the things we are seeing, without really noticing it. I'm guilty of having thoughts and opinions based of what I thought being black meant but really being black isn't just one story there's many stories.
We need to see rich/wealthy/successful black men and women stories, we need to see the black LGBTQ stories, we need to see the homeless, the disabled and the depressed stories. There's so much more to black people and black culture, it needs to be seen and it's only going to be done well if it'd done by us. Share your stories, write books, make films etc.
Michal 'MJ' Jones did a post on why black spaces are important and they addressed some great points - 5 Reasons We Need Black-Only Spaces (And No, Reverse Racism Isn’t One of Them).
I feel like London and the UK as a whole NEED black spaces, because the racism here is just frustrating.
What are your thoughts on black-only spaces? How do you think we should go about creating these spaces?