The feeling that millions of Black folks experience when facing discrimination in the art world and other creative fields have been validated by a British researcher.
The struggle to find acceptance as a Black cultural creator and consumer is real, according to Ali Meghji, a University of Cambridge Ph.D. candidate who recently presented research at the British Sociological Association’s annual conference in the U.K. More than three-quarters of the 32 British professionals of African or Caribbean ethnicity that spoke to Meghji told him that they felt unwelcome at cultural events in White-dominated, middle-class spaces in London because of their skin color — a feeling that African-Americans can relate to in full.
Some people felt uncomfortable being the only person of color in a room or by comments expressed by non-Black folks around them, Meghji, who is researching the “negative representations of blackness in middle-class culture,” said.
“Sometimes I think people look at me more than the art,” one Black woman told the researcher about attending an art event.
London, in particular, is known as an “extremely diverse” city, but that diversity doesn’t reach its traditional middle-class cultural spaces, Phys.org reported. Black cultural producers often feel excluded from these spaces, and Black consumers are often given “token” exhibits that are assembled from a checked-off list of things that cater to African stereotypes. Considering this exclusion and mockery, Black folks are not able to fully assimilate into the cultural scene.
Anti-Black racism incidents do nothing to help matters. A mock slave auction involving seven White male students who whipped a Black boy sparked outrage last month in the UK, but the students were never expelled, but only given a short suspension, for the racist incident.
In the U.S., the same kind of discriminatory practices exist that demean or exclude Black creatives and consumers. Black Panther actor Daniel Kaluuya recently compared racism in America to that in Britain.
“I feel like racism’s more pronounced in America,” says the Oscar-nominated actor to W Magazine. “The disease is still there. It’s the same disease, but it just manifests in a different way. British culture is much more reserved, so it’s more systematic. I think in America, you have the systematic and then you have the overt.”
Meghji’s research and other anti-Black racism incidents show that Black cultural freedom must continuously be fought for by folks. Box office sales and more statistics have shown that Black creatives and consumers matter a lot.
In Memoriam: Notable Deaths In 2018
1. Richard Overton, 112Source:Getty 1 of 39
2. Aretha Franklin, 76Source:Getty 2 of 39
3. Charles Weldon, 783 of 39
4. Nancy Wilson, 81Source:Getty 4 of 39
5. Willie Naulls, 84Source:Getty 5 of 39
6. Olivia Hooker, 103Source:Getty 6 of 39
7. Kim Porter, 47Source:Getty 7 of 39
8. Willie McCovey, 80Source:false 8 of 39
9. Ntozake Shange, 70
Source:false 9 of 39
“i found god in myself— Melissa Kimble (she/her) 🏁 (@Melissa_Kimble) October 27, 2018
and i loved her
i loved her fiercely”
May you rest in peace, Ntozake Shange. ♥️ pic.twitter.com/r3n3ueGcuS
10. George Taliaferro, 91
Source:false 10 of 39
Taliaferro, 1st black player drafted in NFL, dies https://t.co/83IKcN9RNw— NAACP (@NAACP) October 9, 2018
11. Otis Rush, 84Source:Getty 11 of 39
12. George Walker, 96Source:Getty 12 of 39
13. Kofi Annan, 80Source:WENN 13 of 39
14. Ron Dellums, 83Source:false 14 of 39
15. Angela Bowen, 82
Source:false 15 of 39
Had no idea that Angela Bowen, a black lesbian feminist dance teacher and civil rights cultural worker existed. I keep thinking of all the unnamed https://t.co/M2dbNNlgu0— DJ Scholarship (@lynneedenise) July 23, 2018
16. Joe Jackson, 89Source:Getty 16 of 39
17. XXXTentacion, 20Source:Getty 17 of 39
18. Neal Boyd, 42Source:Getty 18 of 39
19. Dorothy Cotton, 88Source:Getty 19 of 39
20. Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, 74Source:Getty 20 of 39
21. Dovey Johnson Roundtree, 104
Source:false 21 of 39
Dovey Johnson Roundtree, a courtroom warrior for civil rights who also challenged segregationist practices when she was in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, died at the age of 104. https://t.co/M4uG2vjk4e— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) May 22, 2018
22. Velvalea Rodgers 'Vel' Phillips, 94
Source:false 22 of 39
:: BREAKING NOW: Milwaukee attorney and civil rights icon Vel Phillips has died, according to her family. She was 94. pic.twitter.com/3yhLdhLtMQ— Steve Chamraz (@TMJ4Steve) April 18, 2018
23. Doris Ward, 86Source:Getty 23 of 39
24. Yvonne Staples, 80Source:Getty 24 of 39
25. Cecil Taylor, 89Source:Getty 25 of 39
26. Donald McKayle, 87Source:Getty 26 of 39
27. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, 81Source:Getty 27 of 39
28. Linda Brown, 76Source:Getty 28 of 39
29. Les Payne, 76Source:false 29 of 39
30. Floyd J. Carter, Sr., 95Source:Getty 30 of 39
31. Ensa Cosby, 44Source:false 31 of 39
32. Lerone Bennett Jr., 89Source:Getty 32 of 39
33. Reg E. CatheySource:Getty 33 of 39
34. Lovebug Starski, 57Source:Getty 34 of 39
35. Olivia Cole, 75Source:Getty 35 of 39
36. Wyatt Tee Walker, 88Source:Getty 36 of 39
37. Jesse 'Smiley' RutlandSource:WENN 37 of 39
38. Hugh Masekela, 78Source:Getty 38 of 39
39. Edwin Hawkins, 74Source:Getty 39 of 39
Black Folks Just Got Confirmation Of Yet Another Place Where We Aren’t Welcomed was originally published on newsone.com