As I was putting this roundup together, two events of particular note were in my mind. One of these was the Derek Chauvin trial in the US (I hope they throw the book at him for murdering George Floyd, but who knows what will actually happen?) I’m not watching the trial — because it’s too much — but I am following the news.
The other was the release of the report from the Commission for Race and Ethnic Disparities in the UK. That was a masterclass in institutional gaslighting of the lived experience of global majority people in the UK…
The more they complain, the more you know you've hit a nerve. There do seem to be more of them around recently. I am very happy to block and hide, but I don't engage. Those aren't my people, and I don't have time to waste on their mischief.
But the more the trolls, the more I know my work is bothering people, unsettling them, and for me, that is a good thing. If what I write gets you thinking or fuming, I’ve reached my objective. You can kick and scream and insult me while you read it, that’s your problem, not mine.
Rebecca Stevens A.
As you know, I started the year as I ended it: writing about racism. That didn’t change in February. I slowed down my publishing cadence a little, just to spare my subscribers’ inboxes, but still managed to cover some important topics.
“While we’d all like to think that we finally see Black as beautiful — and many do — even in the 21st century, there are those who call things African with a derisive curl of the lip. I don’t agree with that stance, either, but it definitely exists.”
“Despite the fact that a great deal of financial power and…
As the US and the world grapples with issues of racial justice, colorism — discrimination by skin shade — has also been in the spotlight. It’s a phenomenon I wrote about some time back in Exploring Shadeism. I looked at this mainly in the Barbadian and Caribbean context, and also did questionnaire research and interviews to find out about people’s lived experience of it. The following snippets give a flavor of the book:
When I started out in freelancing on the web, the conversation was all about price — price per word, price per hour, price per article. That kind of conversation really hurts writers because it places the focus on the wrong aspect of writing (the word count or time count) rather than the right aspect: the value of your work for clients and for you.
Of course, I learned this the hard way. Some of my early freelancing gigs were for a copywriting agency which paid a set fee per word. At the time, I was happy to have the work…
A while back I took a decision. Some would call it a brave decision, others a foolish decision, but for me it was just a decision. That decision was to work actively to make anti-racism work a bigger part of my writing business.
I didn’t take the decision lightly, but mindfully. In particular, I was mindful of the fact that it was now or never when it came to fighting racism. And it took just a few months to move from not having public conversations about racism at all to having them all the time.
Like many people, I was…
If there’s one thing I know, it’s that in 2021, I’m going to continue to use my writing gift to alert people to Black experiences of racism. I ended 2020 with my first paid commission for anti-racism writing, and I’ve started 2021 with a number of opportunities to spread the message further. Of course, one of my main platforms for this is my anti-racism newsletter. Here’s what happened in January.
“I don’t have the privilege of overlooking the fact that so many countries were built on — and grew rich on — Black people’s enslaved labor, yet we still aren’t…
Whew, what a year, right? As 2020 started to wind down, I was thrilled to get my first paid commission for anti-racism writing, for UK equality charity, brap. The title says it all, really: Reflecting on 2020: A Year of Hurt, A Year of Hope.
I also continued publishing my anti-racism newsletter, with slightly fewer articles as we headed into the holidays. Here’s what I published in December 2020:
Yes, even as an online freelance writer, racism rears its ugly head. This article talks about that experience.
“During my session, I discovered that for my trainer Black + quiet =…
It’s hard to believe that I only started writing regularly about anti-racism six months ago. So much has changed since then. I’ve had a paid commission for an anti-racism article, I’ve taught anti-racism workshops and classes, and of course, I’ve continued to publish new articles and highlight anti-racism writers in my newsletter. Here’s what I published in November:
This article talks about the “mistaken identity” that can occur for Black people who aren’t the only one in a given work setting. It’s perplexing and often hurtful.
“There’s underlying racism in seeing all Black people as a homogeneous and interchangeable group…
I’ve been writing about digital marketing for more than ten years, and I have a reasonable idea of what’s supposed to get visibility on social media. But in the five months that I’ve been writing regularly about racism and anti-racism, I’ve found that a lot of what’s supposed to work doesn’t for those writing about diversity, anti-racism and related issues. So, here’s an unscientific guide (based on my own profile stats) to what’s working right now.
I’m not yet using live video, but it looks to me like if you do, people see it. That’s perhaps because it’s one of…