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Living At The Intersection Of Religion, Race And Gender

Growing up my house was littered with books about black leaders; King, Mandela and later Obama, an autobiography or speech was always within arm’s reach. My first attempt at a bedroom poster was an extract of King’s “I have a dream” speech and I wrote a letter to Oprah when I was 10. This narrative is reminiscent of several activists; the militant parents who subtly indoctrinate them to spend their lives challenging white supremacy and pursing black excellence. But my story was different in that my parents were also Christians. More Bibles filled our bookshelves than stories of black leaders, sermons were the soundtrack of school runs and I often fell asleep to the sweet sound of my father’s prayers. That was my life. However, as I grew finding space where a deep appreciation for faith, womanhood and blackness could co-exist was few and far between.

By the time I finished A-Levels my pro-blackness levels had increased significantly, I was a self-proclaimed social justice warrior: you name it, I spoke about it. I even set the groundwork for a social enterprise when I realised that action must follow your words. I found a home in Twitter communities engaged on the subject of race and hoped to replicate them at University. Little did I know that University would present the biggest challenge to my identity.