AIDA MULUGETTA-LOPEZ’s testimony of her experiences as a Black person of colour, in light of the Black Lives Matter movement.  Individual and institutional acts of racism have always plagued the Black community. Now, with the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement (in 2020 particularly), the only difference is to do with the platform. The BLM movement has allowed Black people to express the racial injustices that they continuously face to those who, until now, have been able to live their lives without ever needing to worry about discrimination. I’d like to outline my visible privileges, firstly by pointing out that I am mixed-race (Black African and White European). So, while racism impairs me, colourism (whereby people within the Black community with lighter skin are favoured over those with darker skin) also benefits me. Secondly, I am a cis female. So, I will never have to face the additional discrimination…Continue Reading

Aida’s Experience

GABRIELA FOWLER explores her mixed race identity, reflecting on the racism experienced by her family and what it means to be anti-racist.  I once told an ex-boyfriend that I wasn’t comfortable with his racist jokes, that I didn’t find them funny, and not that it should matter, but that I was mixed race. His reply? ‘Well, you’re not really.’ ‘My mum is from Mauritius, a tiny tropical island off the east coast of Madagascar,’ is a sentence I’ve become used to repeating, a glossy way of labelling my racial and cultural identity. I use it when someone sees a photo of my family, saying ‘Wow! Your mum is so dark!’ Or when I’ve been out with my cousins, and we run into one of their friends who can’t believe we’re related. We usually laugh off the discomfort, joke about it, ‘Yeah, well I do get pretty tanned during the summer,’…Continue Reading

“You’re Not Really”

ASYIA IFTIKHAR reports on last week’s virtual Town Hall meeting about experiences of race and racism at UCL.  It was an historic Town Hall meeting for UCL on Friday 19th June. With almost nine hundred participants, it was the largest that had ever taken place. Michael Arthur, the Provost, began the meeting on a humble note, addressing UCL’s historic ties to eugenics. At the end of February, UCL’s enquiry on this was released, though it was sidelined by COVID-19. In light of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, he reassured listeners that this enquiry would be revisited, with UCL buildings tied to eugenicists already being renamed in response. Ready to hand the discussion over to the panel, he gave an apology for the vague statement UCL initially released, clarifying his focus on this being an issue pertinent to the Black (not BAME) community and the importance of listening and doing better. …Continue Reading

UCL Town Hall: A Conversation About Race