It is perhaps unsurprising that in a world where prejudice and discrimination are rampant, merely existing can invoke trauma upon our minds and bodies. I find myself thinking about this a lot, the difficulties of simply existing as who we are.

Maybe it was my experience of immigrating from rural Jamaica to inner-city London and learning that society had already predicted my destination. Or perhaps, it is simply my career in the medical profession, being immersed in a world where vulnerability is the norm, and the impact of trauma is all too evident…

Read article here: Why We Need To Write Our Own Mental Health Narratives| Black Ballad

“but bein alive & bein a woman & bein colored is a metaphysical
dilemma/ i haven’t conquered yet/ do you see the point
my spirit is too ancient to understand the separation of soul & gender”
For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf

A word frequently used to describe women of colour is resilience. In addition to tackling the everyday challenges of health, family, employment and identity, women of colour have to navigate a world with rampant sexism and racism…

Read blog post here: #16blogs for #IDEVAW: Beyond ‘resilience’: black women and mental health

 | Imkaan

“A common misconception about people with an eating disorder is that black people don’t have eating disorders. With anorexia nervosa in particular, we tend to think that only over sensitive middle-class white girls fall prey to this illness.”

– Jada*, aged 27

Only white girls get eating disorders. You would be forgiven for believing this…

Read article here: Black WOmen on Eating Disorders, Body Image & Thinness | Black Ballad

“I was 8 when I realised that the brain could go wrong. We were in the middle of class and the girl on the table next to me started shaking. The teacher told us to move the chairs and tables out the way. Her brain just gets too excited sometimes. Epilepsy.”

Read article here: Three Black Women Discuss Their First Time Experiences With Mental Health | Black Ballad


“People ask me: ‘why do you need an African-Caribbean Society?’, ‘why do you all hang out together?’, ‘why are you separating yourselves – isn’t this making racism worse?’… I think people forget that humans always divide themselves. When I look around my college people are divided up based on their class, they divide themselves based on the sports that they play. And not in a malicious way, but you group with people who you have something in common with… When I want to have shared experiences with someone who understands this aspect of my life, then yeah I’m gonna be hanging out with people who are from African and Caribbean backgrounds… [The majority of students here] don’t have to search out for people who are like them… because they’re everywhere.”
Women of colour at Cambridge University answer the important question of whether they feel that spaces at the university belong to them. They describe cumulative experiences of otherness, caused primarily by ignorance but also by hostility, and discuss the jarring experience of suddenly becoming a visible minority. They talk about the spaces (safe or otherwise) that they have carved out for themselves. Not in order to segregate themselves, but to be unapologetically themselves around people who understand aspects of their identity which are not understood by the majority of the student population.

Part of the Ain’t I A Woman? campaign, by FLY, a platform for Women of Colour at the University of Cambridge

There is nothing like checking out #blackgirlmagic on Twitter to bring a huge smile to your face. We are climbing flagpoles in the fight against white supremacy, we are marching the streets challenging the abuses of patriarchy, we are in Parliament and in the White House, we are entrepreneurs and we are creatives. We have taken our music across the globe and we have even ventured beyond it. And outside the media’s gaze, we are raising families, supporting our communities, teaching our children histories and tongues while carving out identities of our own.

Read article here: Talking Mental Health: Behind The Sparkle Of #BlackGirlMagic | Black Ballad

Friday nights in Covent Garden are rarely dull and last Friday at the Poetry Café was no exception with the launch of BLAQUE, a collection of poetry by Ashley Scantlebury and photography by ShotbyDk. The collaboration explores themes of race, gender, beauty, gentrification, love and sex against a backdrop of black British identity. So what better way to spend our Friday night than speaking with the woman of the hour?

Read article here: Poet Ashley Scantlebury Talks New Book BLAQUE And Artist Activism | Black Ballad

In 1993, I was born a Jamaican. I became black British in 2012.

The Black British Girlhood Exhibition, curated by artist Bekke Popoola, opened on the 24 July 2015 in East London with a night of poetry, music and screenings by filmmakers such asCecile Emeke, director of the Ackee & Saltfish and Strolling series. The five-day exhibition was extended for a further three days, giving lucky people like me the chance to catch it. The exhibition featured photography, illustrations paintings and textile art by artists exploring and celebrating different aspects of their childhood as black British girls.

Read article here: The Black British Girlhood Exhibition: Seeing Me | Black Ballad