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Jade Ecobichon-Gray

Wellbeing practitioner / Community activist

A letter to my father.

2020 has been a year of deep reflection for my mixed-race family. How we make sense of the whirlwind of emotions that swell up inside of us when we witness yet another injustice and loss of Black life. How it feels like a storm passing through our bodies that seems to rip up old wounds, tear down pre-conceived notions of our mixed race-ness and bring the very essence of our white and black selves crashing up against our bones like waves hitting a sea wall.

It is the strange complexity and curiosity of the mixed-race experience that a father and his daughter each hold their own very real and unique lived experience of race and identity, based on our different colours and their impact on how society chooses to perceive us and categorise us.

As a mixed-race woman my heart is heavy this year. That in the year 2020 we are still holding up signs to implore other people to acknowledge that Black Lives Matter. That they are worthy. Worthy to benefit from the opportunities and access afforded to others, to raise children in a society that will care for them and view them as the beacon of all that is good in the world and the promise of what is yet to come, but most heartbreakingly, that they are worthy to just live.

When my father said to me, Jade I’m just tired. I felt that. I felt it in a way that is almost impossible to describe, it’s the words of a man who has lived through countless incidents of his own and witnessed countless incidents in society and across the world whereby blackness can bring out the very worst in humanity. He hopes that this time, maybe this time, things will actually start to change.

If that change doesn’t come, we as a society are sending a message. There is no justice to be found here. This world will not tend to your wounds whilst looking inwards and holding itself accountable for the way it maintains the systems that continue to keep Black people oppressed, incarcerated, denied opportunity, stripped of humanity, silenced and without a living breath.

It’s why I commit with the whole of my black and white being, to do the work, to create the change. To take the weight off my father’s shoulders and let him rest. I commit to amplifying Black voices and their lived experience in the white spaces that my privilege allows me to enter into with ease. I commit to a ferocious and never-ending vocalisation of the importance of anti-racism, and the dismantling of white supremacy, both within me and outside of me.