RACISM | COLORISM | BLACK LIVES MATTER

Edited excerpt of “Exploring Shadeism”

Black Lives Matter protest in Bridgetown, Barbados (photo by Sharon Hurley Hall) — shows people kneeling near to the Parliament building
Black Lives Matter protest in Bridgetown, Barbados (photo by Sharon Hurley Hall) — shows people kneeling near to the Parliament building
Black Lives Matter protest in Barbados (photo by Sharon Hurley Hall)

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:

RACISM | BLACK LIVES MATTER

Anti-Racism Writing From Sharon Hurley Hall in February 2021

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Photo by Oladimeji Odunsi on Unsplash

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.

Articles

On the Labeling of Black People

“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.”

Anti-Blackness is Alive and Well in Barbados

“Despite the fact that a great deal of financial power and…

WRITING| FREELANCING

Shifting from a focus on price in freelancing conversations

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Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

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.

Price vs Value — Hard Lessons

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…

RACISM | BLACK LIVES MATTER | WRITING

Here’s my journey and some of the issues to think about

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Photo by Daniel Bosse on Unsplash

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…

RACISM | BLACK LIVES MATTER

Anti-Racism Writing From Sharon Hurley Hall in January 2021

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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.

Articles

I Can’t Ignore Racism; Can You?

“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…

RACISM | BLACK LIVES MATTER

Anti-Racism Writing From Sharon Hurley Hall in December 2020

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Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

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:

Race and the Freelance Writer Revisited

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 =…

RACISM | BLACK LIVES MATTER

Anti-Racism Writing From Sharon Hurley Hall in November 2020

Racism in November — Elections and Reflections
Racism in November — Elections and Reflections
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

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:

Seen Yet Unseen (Working While Black)

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…

RACISM | BLACK LIVES MATTER | TECHNOLOGY

An unscientific guide for those involved in anti-racism and equity work

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Photo by inlytics | LinkedIn Analytics Tool on Unsplash

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.

The Type of Content Matters

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…

WRITING | FREELANCING

Tips on keeping yourself in balance despite the endless juggle

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Photo by Peggy Anke on Unsplash

Juggling has become a way of life, especially for solopreneurs. And with all the changes in 2020, the chances are you’re juggling even more. First of all, there’s the juggling you do for your business, where you have to be the entire C-suite on your own. After all, if you don’t look after the work itself, the marketing and your business finances, who will?

Beyond the four corners of the screen, there’s even more juggling. You may be looking after children or elderly relatives, or you may have volunteer commitments. Plus, there’s the additional stress of coping through a pandemic…

FREELANCING | WRITING | RACISM

Plus additional considerations for Black freelancers

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Photo by Sergey Zolkin on Unsplash

I’ve been asked a couple of times recently about the advice I’d give new freelance writers, and whether there’s any difference if those writers happen to be Black. The answer is: yes and no.

There are certain foundational things that all new freelancers have to take care of. But there are also a couple of additional considerations for writers with that extra bit of melanin.

(And before anyone starts with the “not all…” arguments, this is based on my own experience as a Black woman writer, and actual incidents I had to deal with.)

So, let’s dive in.

1. What Do I Need to Get Started?

One thing…

Sharon Hurley Hall

Pro writer (B2B/B2C). Antiracism writer. Co-host: Introvert Sisters podcast. Global citizen. She/her. Sharon’s Anti-Racism NL: https://antiracism.substack.com/

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