- Sharon's Anti-Racism Newsletter
- Black Spaces Matter
Black Spaces Matter
Why freedom from the white gaze is a necessary gift
I’ve been thinking a lot recently of the importance of me, as a Black woman, having spaces where I can let my shoulders drop. In many cases, that means having spaces where all the members or participants are Black.
Before I dive into why it matters, let me make a couple of things clear:
First, I don’t choose my friends according to the colour of their skin - their values matter more, and those who are fighting oppression rather than colluding with it are often my people, no matter what’s on the outside.
Second, it takes ALL of us to create an equal world where racism is a thing of the past. Again, if you’re active in this quest, I’m happy to know you.
However, we’re not there yet, and this is why all-Black spaces matter.
As a white-presenting person, you may take your place in the world for granted. After all, in many cases everything is set up to remove obstacles from your path. In fact, you might not be aware certain obstacles exist at all, so far are they from your day to day reality.
But for people who look like me (and this also applies to people of the Global Majority and people who face isms) that’s often not our reality, especially in white-dominated spaces. There’s often a need to be hyper-vigilant because of the way being Black is perceived or characterised, and because of the real disadvantages that can be imposed by systems set up to exclude us.
It’s a lot to deal with, and sometimes we just want to breathe. Sometimes we want freedom from the white gaze. That’s why Black spaces matter.
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