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Natural Obstruction

Journal Entry 4

Last Saturday was the Moonlight screening. Of course, it was again not without its drama but this time it was not from me. I arrived on time and tech ran smoothly. In the run-up to the event, there was the obstruction in actually making the event happen. One of my observations in life is that you can tell a lot about a person’s character in the way they handle embarrassing themselves in public. In this case, the individual made a comment, exposed a racist view did not defend their view when given an opportunity and instead of being accountable is now being obstructive. Along with this, we were in the middle of a protest for BREXIT. Some members of the Syndicate messaged me to see if I would still go ahead and some were offended that I did. I believe in free speech, the right to assemble which ironically is what the Syndicate is; a group of people coming together with contrary and sometimes strong views to enjoy and discuss the film. To cancel would be hypocritical and go against the values of my company which wasn't even a thought to do. This does not minimise the importance and impact of BREXIT for us here in the UK and across the EU; however, as they say, the show must go on and it did.

We had a very layered discussion on Moonlight because although it is marketed as an LGBT film it also touches on themes of addiction, abuse, bullying, drugs and the meaning of family and community. The tone and tenure of this discussion were very different because everyone in the room connected to Chiron (the main character) but had different perspectives on the impact of such a hard life. We talked about PTSD, where love and nurturing comes from and how the white LGBT community didn’t support the film as much as they could have (the comment came from a white male so there is no confusion). I also brought up that one of the pillars of the black community at the time the movie takes place is the Church. It is however, noticeably absent so I posed the question on whether or not Chiron’s journey would have been different if there was the presence of the Church community.

We had a long time to discuss and although the film leaves you with a melancholy feeling the discussion itself wasn’t. I wanted to understand what The Syndicate thought about identity. Is it from birth or nurtured? We landed on it being a combination that evolves and is influenced by a number of factors that include sexuality, culture, family, faith etc. As always we shortlisted the next set of films. Voting is open until Monday 18 September.

The Miseducation and Malarkey Podcast is back! Tara and I had a little bit of a summer hiatus but the news cycle never slows down. We decided to make our latest episode a Palava Sauce edition because we had a lot on our minds. We talk about the Trans ban, Disclosure, throwback to Lil Duval and the Breakfast Club, the pardoning of Joseph Arpaio, Hurricane Harvey, Ted Cruz and Joel Olsteen and much more. I have very strong views about these topics and so did Tara, so its not a surprise we went to a full hour. We try to keep each episode down to 30-40 minutes but there was a lot to say. We also discussed Mayweather vs. McGregor because I am a huge boxing fan.

World Afro Day is tomorrow15 September. World Afro Day was created by Michele DeLeon to educate and celebrate African and Caribbean hair after a Federal law was passed in the US allowing employers to prevent hiring people with locs on the same day last year. As a woman with locs you can probably guess I was not impressed to say the least. I have the honour of being part of history as I join the panel to moderate and discuss my experiences at the inaugural event. The UN has endorsed WAD, events are now happening in the US, Tanzania and South Africa. I also joined the Dotun Adebayo show on Sunday to discuss WAD, hair bias, natural or weaves and all of the subtleties and negative messages that center on Afro hair! I am looking forward to this because I have talked about a lot of issues concerning my progression and challenges that I have faced but this is the first time I will be having a discussion about hair and why it should not be minimised because it is an extension of identity. To think that the hair that grows naturally out of your head can cause someone not to get a job is ludcaris but it is the world we are in. Raising awareness, being educated and having constructive dialogue that leads to solution is what I Iook forward to tomorrow so if you are around join us.

I have noticed that there has been a reoccurring theme of identity it may mean something or not but given we are a start-up it is expected that the identity of my company is tested and with that comes natural obstruction. If you are dealing with the same in whatever circumstance, know that you are not alone and this too shall pass.



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