How have you been feeling? This past week I’ve felt a heavy heart; you may have been feeling the same way too. As much as my message recently has been spreading the joy, especially as we continue to remain physically distanced from one another, today I want to share something a little different with you, and that’s talking about race.
Many of you would have heard about the Black Lives Matter movement and wanting to listen & learn more about how we, as human beings, can do our part in creating a more just, safe and represented society not just for today, but generations to come. Learning how we can be more inclusive about people from all walks of life and not being judged by the colour of your skin, heritage, culture, ethnicity, nationality or background.
I can resonate with many of my friends, family & peers from different ethnic backgrounds and we share similar experiences of race prejudice, though I cannot begin to say I understand how it feels to be a black person.
Although I’ve had a complex relationship with race identity and it’s been uncomfortable to face, these past few days have taught me so much not only about myself as a woman with more melanin in their skin, but how amazing this community is standing together as one. We’ve still got a long way to go, but every day a small change has to happen till we get there. I’m thankful that many of you have shared so many great resources that I’ve seen pop up on my feed where I can continue learning.
So where does this leave me?
I’m grateful I have a business and platform where I get to tell your wonderful unique stories. I am aware that one part of the problem is not having representation in the media and telling stories from different people’s points of view.
As a people photographer, I pledge to be more conscious of photographing a wider range of couples, families, businesswomen and showcase the incredible stories you have and also to reflect how diverse and multi-cultural our society is. The wedding industry needs to do more to be inclusive and I know I need to do more too. It all starts with making a small change everyday.
I’ve been taking this past week to have lots of meaningful heartfelt conversations with people in the wedding & business community and working on ways to do more to be anti-racist. If you’ve been affected by recent events or want to learn more about race and just want an open conversation, I’m here to listen.
My message has always been about love, togetherness & empowerment so I leave you with this:
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s the power of using your voice,” – Michelle Obama
Sending you loving vibes, always,
A few resources to help you get going:
Created by the amazing illustrator Danielle Coke. You can find out more about her racial activism and learning more about race on her Instagram page @ohhappydani, it’s truly inspiring.
Another fantastic account to follow if you’re a lover of beautiful illustrations and understanding more about people from different backgrounds is Shirien Damra who started @shirien.creates.
New books by black women to add to your reading list – Refinery29
Reni Eddo-Lodge: Books, Privilege, Feminism & Structural Racism – Ctrl Alt Del by Emma Gannon podcast – Listen to the podcast (episode #82) on Apple | Spotify | Acast
Dark skinned girls on colourism – BBC Three (Youtube clip)
Hidden Racism: Do you have racial biases? – Restless Magazine
Trevor breaks down reparations & white privilege – The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
What I’m learning from my white grandchildren – truths about race – Anthony Peterson (TED Talk)
Free Anti-Racism Guide – Nova Reid (founder of Nu Bride)
James Cordon gets a lesson on white privilege – The Late Late Show with James Cordon
Cover photo taken from my first solo wedding commission, an amazing British Afro-Caribbean wedding 5 years ago in Southampton. Thank you Christy & Geofry.