Just under 2 weeks ago, BYP (Black Young Professionals) Network held the first ever BYP Conference. A leadership conference dedicated to black professionals. The first of its kind, in the UK at least. Panel discussions, workshops and keynote speakers were just a few of the highlights. AJ Odudu was the host in the morning and panellists/speakers included the likes of George the Poet, Tolu Ogunmefun, Gillian Joseph, Lord Michael Hastings and many many more. Attending the BYP conference made me realise that there’s a change coming and it’s a change in the right direction.
As I get older, I realise more and more things about people, places and life in general. One of such realisations is the fact that many black Londoners are unaware of the existence of black communities outside of London. In all fairness to them, the percentage of black people in London is by far the highest in comparison to other parts of the UK. As of the 2011 census, London is the region with the highest percentage of the black population (13.3%) versus the North East which is the region with the lowest percentage of the black population (0.5%). In addition to this, the black British culture that is portrayed on TV and across social media is very London centric. So, who can really blame these Londoners for not realising there is black life outside of London?
If you’re reading this it’s likely that you’ve been to an afro-carribean salon to get your hair done at least once. I was last in one on Friday, appointment was booked and price confirmed. Turned up and was told to wait an hour and the price had speedily inflated, grrrrr! Sounds familiar perhaps?
The road to hell is paved with good intentions!
Please be advised, this topic may be offensive to some, but it is a much needed and debated one. I recently started following @nowhitesaviors on Instagram, and I found their page very insightful and informative. They have captured and resonated the deep-seated feeling of hurt and disgust of white people being ‘our’ saviours. It’s as though, we (black people) cannot achieve anything meaningful and worthy without their assistance or validation. However, the root of the matter is that your oppressor could never be your saviour!
Unless you live under a rock you’ve probably heard about the Home Office’s new initiative to launch “#knifefree” chicken boxes. I was a tad confused at first and thought since when did chicken boxes come with knives? But what the poorly phrased campaign intends to do is include a “short message on chicken boxes to deter people from knife crime.”