Comments for the culture

Articles
Leona Nichole

Ciara’s Freak Me: Dancing For the Culture

Ciara’s stunning new visual was an easy share for me and will undoubtedly go viral. But the song is a mismatch for the potential energy of her aesthetic and movement. That critique however isn’t intended to force her, myself, or others into an essentialist performance of African cultures or identities. To be Black in this contemporary moment is to relinquish all claims of authenticity, in favour of our unique vantage point of seeing, feeling and being through a lens of Blackness attached to us like an iris.   As someone who has had to re-construct my cultural and spiritual knowledge

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Articles
Leona Nichole

Ciara’s Freak Me: Dancing For the Culture

Ciara’s stunning new visual was an easy share for me and will undoubtedly go viral. But the song is a mismatch for the potential energy of her aesthetic and movement. That critique however isn’t intended to force her, myself, or others into an essentialist performance of African cultures or identities. To be Black in this contemporary moment is to relinquish all claims of authenticity, in favour of our unique vantage

Read More »
Articles
Leona Nichole

Tarot For The Mother Tongue I’ll Never Know

I felt the call to practice tarot about two years ago. It wasn’t a dramatic spiritual experience with uncanny signs and confirmation from mystics. It was as mundane as love. I simply found, watching others, that I loved it. That love grew and took up so much room in my heart that I gifted myself my first set of cards for my 29th birthday. I’ll impose some magic on the

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Articles
Leona Nichole

Nights Like Love Jones, Mornings Alone

Last night @vulnerablepodcast hosted a beautiful dinner party, and guided a group of us – single, married & dating, through a series of questions about love and healthy partnerships. The evening was themed “A Seat at The Table: #RelationshipGoals”. It was clear that this was a labour of love for the podcast creators Sade and Rochelle, and their experience in enabling vulnerable conversations showed. All the staples of a good

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Articles
Leona Nichole

Black Consciousness is Not a Legitimate Way Out of Politics

The logic that you shouldn’t participate in UK politics because of white supremacy & political corruption, and that the solution is to build “back home”, doesn’t make sense.  White supremacy doesn’t have a cut-off point at Gatwick Airport, and #Blacklivesmatter in the UK, as they do back home. The irony is that it is white supremacy that gave us this geographical racial hierarchy – measured by proximity to whiteness, that is.

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Articles
Leona Nichole

Coming to Terms: The Use of Gender in Spiritual & Esoteric Communities

When we say male/female or man/woman there are ideas and behaviours that we associate with those words, and those ideas don’t disappear in spiritual, religious or esoteric communities. The framework of woman-man is meaningful in our culture and I make no pretence about doing away with those concepts; but rather I seek to deepen our understanding of how we shape our lives by making some important contrasts: most pertinent to

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Articles
Leona Nichole

“Light Skin Guys Be Like” – On the Boundaries of Blackness (A Response)

The Big Bad Black Community I loved the Lion King metaphor in Bilal’s blog post “Light Skin Guys Be Like”. So I thought I’d start with a Simba reference of my own in the form of a meme, (which I found online, don’t start with me). Bilal asks questions about what it means to be a mixed race or light skinned man relating with Black communities. Particularly experiences of rejection,

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Articles
Leona Nichole

Black History and the Conservative Roots of Race

October marks Black History month in Britain and manifests in our key institutions (schools, libraries, museums) as thirty-one days of PR for British colonialism and The Transatlantic Slave Trade. Twenty-four years since its beginnings in Britain we resurrect the annual debate over whether we still need it, but counter narratives – of which BHM is one – are an integral part of our anti-racism resistances. Our post-racial proclamations that argue

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Articles
Leona Nichole

Why Make A Caricature of What Are Complex Feelings for Black Women?

A video has been circulating my Facebook news feed this week. It stages a scene in which a Black man brings his white girlfriend into a barber shop. A hairdresser who is a hired actress says a number of inappropriate things about the couple and the presence of this woman. The camera crew eventually interrupt the scene to question members of the public on their intervention, or lack thereof, in this

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Articles
Leona Nichole

Disrespectability, Black Feminism, and a Race to the Bottom  

I do not endorse respectability politics in so far as it is an ineffectual strategy for countering white supremacy, or any other structural subordination (say rape culture), through sheer will and demonstration of moral uprightness, in accordance with the values of a dominant group in society. It does not work. I do however understand its roots in ‘progressive-era activism’. Evelyn Higgingbotham has written at length on the promotion of temperance,

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