Posted in The Afro Muslimah

Being Black & British

I recently had the privilege to do a blog collab/ interview a Black British blogger, and I hope you enjoy her answers as much as I do!  

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For people who are not familiar with your content what is your blog about? 

My blog therconnect features three components: Lifestyle, Travel, and Poetry. Lifestyle gives my readers the lowdown of my daily experiences by documenting my personal stories. Travel is my travel adventures the good, bad and ugly. Here I feature my honest perspectives different destinations including photo diaries, itineraries, and travel reviews.

Lastly, I write poetry! Here you can check out my work and find something that relates to you. My blog aims to hopefully provide relatable experiences to all my readers.

 Where in the UK are you located?

I am from London, England. 

  I noticed during my time in London, most of the people in my generation, millennials, do not consider themselves to be Black British, but their ethnic origins. Is there a shift in England about being considered Black British?

Well, I think there are two reasons for this explanation. Firstly, some Black people were not born in Britain. A lot of people I know lived in their homeland country and relocated at an early age. They consider themselves to be more in touch with their ethnic origin which makes sense as they would identify better. It also stems from feeling a sense of pride of where you are from. More recently now Black people are taking more pride in their culture from food to speaking their own language too.

Another explanation is although there are a Black British people actually born in Britain they consider themselves to be African/Caribbean due to the way they were raised. The way African and Caribbean people are raised to White British people differs, especially if their parents were raised in such way leading it to be passed down to each generation. I also feel that even when Black people are born in Britain we still get asked: “where are we really from?”. It seems like some people cannot comprehend Black people can be Black British. To a certain extent we are a product of our environment, being from and raised in Britain will influence us and forms a part of being that person.

 How do you identify yourself?

I was born in Britain, so I identify as being Black British. I feel a lot of things relating to being who I am stem from being British. I say this because if today I packed from Britain and moved to Nigeria it will be a shock as I am not completely used to the culture as I have not lived there.

However, I can never abandon my African roots they play a major part in being who I am. I would say I am Black British, but I will proudly say I am Nigerian. My identity majorly stems from being Black which I take major pride in so how can I not consider myself African?

 How would you consider the Black British experience?

Great question! This question is kind of difficult, to sum up. The Black British experience varies from what area you are from. For example, I am from London where there are a lot of Black people due to it being the largest city in the UK. The Black British experience has somewhat become more positive as I constantly socialize with Black people and we are able to learn so much from each other. However, someone living in a different part of Britain such as Huddersfield (Yorkshire) experience can differ from being black. On the other hand, no matter where someone is based in Britain we have something in common…we are black!

We deal with microaggressions whether it is someone stereotyping us because of the colour of our skin or giving us funny looks it happens here. Britain is still racist (no matter how it is for people to believe) people think because not everyone is shouting insults it doesn’t exist it does!

Let me not scare you though Britain is great obviously is needs improvement like everywhere else but there is so much stuff for Black people to do. There is an increasing amount of entrepreneurs and black people in high position. One thing I love about Britain is that there a lot of different opportunities.

  Do you feel there is racism between other races of color, or do you feel a sense of unity?

Unfortunately, yes! I think even people of other races consider black people to be the bottom of the barrel still to this day. However, the younger generation seems to be more unified as people of different races spend time socializing and learning about each other. Therefore, the stereotypes or racist attitudes the older generation does not filter to the younger generation.

Posted in Afro Muslimah's Love Stories

British Love Story

Let me tell y’all about this man I met at the mall; the poor soul was struggling attempting to buy clothes and asked for my opinion. As a shopaholic, I was more than happy to help him pick out some new clothes, plus I thought he was really cute. He was definitely my ideal type, a chocolate nerd. After we did a little bit of shopping he asked me if I wanted to get something to eat. We went to a Mexican restaurant, which I don’t recommend in England.

Regardless of the food, the conversation just flowed so naturally between us, and we talked about almost everything. At this point in time, I did not have a romantic interest in him, I was just excited about making a British friend. I knew I would eventually be coming home, and did not want to continue my terrible pattern of starting a relationship, knowing it’ll eventually turn long distance.

We were always blunt with each other, and he expressed his distaste for long-distance relationships and broke down the male to female ratio of the world, and he won’t be pressed over any woman. At that moment I knew it was going to be a beautiful friendship, two logical souls who weren’t going to get emotionally attached. 

As the summer progressed, we started spending pretty much every day with each other. I felt like I was with someone I knew my whole life, completely comfortable around him. We both shared a dry, sarcastic, and corny sense humor, which honestly described our relationship. 

Eventually, of course, we developed feelings for each other, and on several different occasions, he tried to get me to confess my feelings. I could never find the words to let him know, that I love and was going to miss him. He became my best friend, and there’s no way I could have adequately expressed how I felt. I knew I was leaving, but deep down there was a part of me that didn’t want to leave him.

He is definitely one of a kind and I wish there were more men like him out in the world. Saying goodbye was difficult, I cried my eyes out when the plane was taking off. As hard as it was to leave a beautiful relationship in England, I know it was the best decision. I’d rather treasure the memories and let go; than to hold on and ruin the relationship. Who knows what the future has in store?