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
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.