Deciding to move to Spain with a six month old wasn’t a decision I took lightly. As a black woman in an interracial relationship not many of my choices regarding family are. However, raising a child of dual heritage in a foreign country has provided a lot of clarity on the importance of representation, ensuring that as my son grows, he understands the history of all his ancestors.
That’s not to say that we don’t have work to do in our second home country of Spain, but not being fluent in the regional language of Catalan certainly helps us create a degree of separation and control over how we engage with the issue of race there. Also, it has in some ways made it easier not to be bogged down by the toxic narratives my partner and I have experienced in the UK such as colourism within my community and the redundant ideology of ‘colour blindness’ within his.
Despite these differences, the multiple murders of black people earlier this year (namely Ahmaud Arbaury, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd) at the hands of white “vigilantes” and police officers made it clear that we had not come as far as the Western world’s whitewashing made us believe. The arrival of Covid-19 followed closely by the biggest civil rights movement since the 60s led to a dip in my mental health, something I was all too familiar with having struggled with my postnatal mental health.