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WEOC Member, Bylines in Momentum, Cultured, AnInJustice, Equality Includes You, The Pink, AfroSapiophile and Age of Awareness. Contact: petiriira@gmail.com
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As black women, we encounter an abundance of remarks that are clearly offensive to us as a whole. However, society doesn't realise that some of the remarks they make towards us are derogatory, when they may think they are harmless in effect.

From my personal experiences, I can account for why these are disrespectful and wrong. It may be simple to say "just ignore it'' or ''it doesn't matter, they didn't mean it like that'' from an outside perspective, but as someone who has heard these remarks first hand, it is far more damaging than that.

As a society, we…


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For some people, reverse racism is an unfeigned issue in society. They believe racism can be flipped around and made subject to the people who do not have to worry about their skin color making them susceptible to discrimination.

Essentially, they hold the belief that the roles can somehow be reversed and the oppressor can become the oppressed. It is important, however, to acknowledge that this isn’t true — racism doesn’t work like that.

Yes, racism does involve someone feeling superior to another race, but that is just the tip of the enormous iceberg that follows the complexity of racism.


Blackness + Culture

An illustration by Nora Miller | Photo Courtesy of Evanstonian

During the summer, white people look forward to getting a golden, sun-kissed tan. It's the perfect time of year. The sun's beams are visible for all seven days of the week. It's time to get the desired hue. But when it's not summer, this look isn't easily accessible. But not to worry! Even when it isn't the joyous season of summer, a tanned appearance can still be achieved through self-tanning products.

“Petiri, I went tanning this weekend, my complexion is the same as yours now.”

Sigh, I hate hearing this. Some may see it as playful and view it as…


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Society is in love with saying “everything is about race nowadays”, but little do they know everything has been about race since the 15th century. See, this phrase has undoubtedly become a social refrain and society is glued to using it as a defence mechanism and as a perilous deflection.

It is important for society to disengage from this saying, as it imposes further harm in the work we are trying to do when aiming for change. Implying that “everything is about race” perpetuates the falsehood that oppressed groups use race as an excuse when opening discussions that pertain to…


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Social change can be work that is draining when society partakes in actions that cause progression to move in reverse. However, it is more fulfilling for me when I see it affect how we progress as a society in a positive light.

A young Petiri wonders why people judge her because her skin is brown. A young Petiri ponders on the reason why people alienate her for her tress. A young Petiri thinks about why she started to hate her Blackness as a result of a eurocentric world. She realises that these stereotypes and stigmas have been constructed from the…


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I have noticed that Black men often use the word “preference” as a code for their culmination of colourist,featurist and texturist preferences. 99% of the time when I hear a Black man say that they prefer a certain ethnic group, or a certain type of person within one race, for instance, lighter-skinned Black women, they bring down members of another race to justify their preference.

It is important that we call this out because, in my view, this is an ever-growing issue within our community that needs to be addressed.

Once you being to eliminate different ethnic groups because of…


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“We don't play with people like you,” she uttered.

This was in first grade and I vividly remember approaching a white group of friends and asking them if I could join in their games and one of them said this. At 5–6 years old, a statement and having a discriminatory mentality like this is taught and parents have to make an active effort to teach their children to be anti-racist.

Already having racist beliefs and attitudes towards Black people in the first grade is horrifying and imagine what they will grow up into as they grow older.

Not Racist vs. Anti-Racist

There is a…


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Expectations and Black women are tied together. For us Black women it's a never-ending tale, just because of who we are society has a bar of expectations in store for us; that they expect us to live up to and execute. I'm here to tell you it is not our responsibility to live up to these so-called expectations.

Stop expecting us to be paid less and do free work

Black women have to work 10x harder in work settings to be considered and taken seriously and society still holds an expectation that we should be paid less for the work we put in. Because of sexism, women are already paid less…


Photo by Honey Yanibel Minaya Cruz on Unsplash

''You have to be strong'', ''you need to have thick skin'' and ''just ignore them'', were words of encouragement that I heard growing up when I first experienced racism. When assessing racism, we often forget to account for the harm it causes to someone's mental wellbeing. Racism affects self-esteem, self-love and can fuel self-hate. It certainly affected those facets of life for me.

Since I experienced racism from a young age, I had to learn how to navigate my way through life and view society differently at a tender age. …


Photo via Watford Observer

On the evening of the 11th of July, England lost the final of the Euro 2020 tournament to Italy at Wembley Stadium. After an intense and gruelling 120 minutes of play, the match went onto penalties, where the England team would go onto lose after missing three out of five penalties.

To some England fans, love, and acceptance is conditional. And that condition pertains to the Blackness of the players. When they are winning they are embraced and praised, but when the trio of young Black men miss a penalty, they are subject to an influx of racial abuse. …

Petiri Ira

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