With all that has been going on this year regarding the Black Lives Matter movement and the deaths of numerous people of colour, you would think that this year's Black History month would be more important than ever. Yet, it seems to have been overlooked and forgotten. Marginalised, even. Instead, people are more excited for Halloween.
So, why has this happened?
Halloween is a very commercialised holiday, with adverts starring for it from the middle of September. But, how many adverts do you see for Black History Month? Personally, I've hardly seen any. The only UK channel that does seem to be doing anything is Channel 4, with their series of programmes called ‘Black and Proud’. But, is Channel 4 doing it for the right reason of making black voices heard, or is it just tokenism?
Tokenism is the symbolic effort to be inclusive towards members of a minority. A key example of this is having one black actor in a predominantly white cast. That is just the beginning of it though. As the UK is predominately run by straight white males in all industries.
This is shown in our schools, through the curriculum. As in English class we mainly read stories written by dead white men. In History we only really learn about Black History through during the slave trade. So, my experience of Black History Month has always been very minimal due to how the UK is.
Yet, people say that the UK is not racist.
To get involved more in Black History Month and the Black Lives Matter movement as a whole, please educate yourself. Here at TWE we have numerous articles on the topic, plus there are many more out there on the internet. There are also many videos and podcasts. One that I recommend is "So You Want to Talk About Race" by Ijeoma Oluo, which comes in book form, audiobook form, blog and podcast. So, whether you’re a reader or a listener, there are always opportunities to educate yourself.
There needs to be some serious systematic change in order for us all to live in a more equal and accepting society. The UK is a diverse place and this needs to be represented, everywhere from the media we consume daily to the school curriculum we all studied as children. As teenagers, we are the next generation - we will be the ones in power soon. So, we must fight for change and pave the way for a better society.
Just like Kenzie did, I will be rating them on a spoopines scale. 1 being a little bit spoopy, 5 being hiding behind a pillow.
5. Humans - The Hawkins family buy a synth (an AI robot) to help bring the family together, but will it tear them apart?
This is more of a thriller due to how creepily real this could be in a not so distant future. It has 3 seasons.
Spoopiness: 2 out of 5 👻
4. The Umbrella Academy - After growing apart, the Hargreeves family must re-unite to save the world.
A superhero action and adventure, doesn't scream spooky does it? But with plenty of gore and comedy it is a great 2 season binge with a 3rd season possibly on the way.
Spoopiness: 1 out of 5 👻
3. The Returned / Les Revenants - After a tragic accident, the whole town prays to see their loved ones again. But what if they actually returned?
Unlike the others, this series is actually French, so you'd have to watch it with subtitles, or there is an American version. But it is a great zombie thriller, unlike any other hence, why it got 2 seasons.
Spoopiness: 3.5 out of 5 👻
4. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina - With her 16th birthday (Halloween day) fast approaching, Sabrina must choose between her human friends and her witch family.
This is a thriller mystery filled with witchy drama. It spans 3 seasons but I've only seen the first two so I was surprised when I heard the third one apparently turns very musical :/. However, you are into that here is a 4th season on it's way.
Spoopiness: Somewhere between 3.4 and 4 out of 5 👻
5. Ratched - Based on a true story, the stylish Mildred Ratched starts work as a nurse, but is there a dark side to her?
Definitely a very, gory, horror! Not for the faint of heart as the 18 age rating suggests, so have that pillow to hand. For this 1 season (8 episodes) binge.
Spoopiness: 4 to 4.5 out of 5👻
I hope that this has given you something to binge while curled up in a blanket, eat some sweet treats and binge during the witching hour.
Stay safe and stay spooky - Josh 🎃
The UK Government has instructed that during these uncertain and challenging times we should ALL practice social distancing. The definition of social distancing is “interventions or measures taken to prevent the spread of contagious diseases achieved by maintaining physical distance and close contact between people”. This is really important to prevent the number of cases of Coronavirus and also to protect ourselves, those we live with, and those we care for. So, why are so many people not doing it?!
Almost everyone is at home in lockdown following the social distancing procedures, even celebrities are on board. However, there is a small minority who are disregarding the rules. The best analogy I have heard of it so far is that it's like we are in class and everytime someone doesn’t do as they are told (stay inside), the teacher (Boris Johnson) takes away some of our break time (longer lockdown). This is so true as I know all those close to me (emotionally) are now physically distant. Although the peace is nice, I'm starting to miss them all.
Whilst out dog walking I make sure to avoid people, for mine and their safety. This is hard for two reasons. The first being that my dogs now know the way so when we have to cross over to social distance the dogs get a little confused. Secondly, people do not make it easy! Some people don’t seem to be following the guidelines so if they see me coming they don’t bother to cross the road. As I live near the beach I go for my dog walk down there but when it's nice weather people are drawn down to sunbathe or just hang out. So they take up loads of space not socially distancing themselves and making socially distancing hard for me to implement. This is so frustrating!
On top of this, my next door neighbours are not heading the warning at all! Rather, the other day they hosted a party. I heard one of them say “Should I get the food out now?” and the other one said “No, we’ll wait till the others arrive”. At first I was a bit shocked but I thought maybe the others in their house had gone out for a walk. But later that night I heard them out in their garden chatting and playing music. The fact that they had friends round and held a party whilst everyone else is abiding to the rules and staying inside. It's just so selfish and reckless.
I know that we all long to be with our friends on the beach or having a BBQ (which by the way are also not allowed as they affect those with Corona) with some ice cream involved. But right now the best thing for us all to do is stay at home. Soon this will all be over and we will be able to go out and do the things we love with the people we love. But for that time to come we must social distance.
In conclusion it is for your own safety and the safety of those you care about to social distance. Please stay safe and stay, we will get through this together!!
If you are ever unsure on what you should or shouldn’t do checkout the government’s page on Coronavirus: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Will Post Soon - Josh
Although Pride in person can't go ahead this year due to lockdown and social distancing, I thought I would share my first time at pride and some information on why we have pride.
The first official UK Gay Pride Rally was July 1979, and my first Pride was in 2017 at Liverpool Pride. It is an annual event that creates a sense of community and belonging for people who may feel excluded, as the LGBTQ+ community are often rejected or attacked for expressing their true selves.
At pride I definitely felt accepted! Everyone was so friendly and chatty, making my friend and I feel welcome. They also encouraged us to take part in activities such as letter writing, dancing and soap modelling. Yes, soap modelling. There was a LUSH stand showing their support and allowing you to use bars of their soap to make models.
Which brings me onto my next point. Pride parades usually happen in cities meaning that if you didn’t want to pay the extreme prices of the in event food vendors, you could go out to buy something.
Take a friend, not only to share the experience with but also for safety. Pride is very busy, filled with both attendees and passers by so it easy to become disorientated. Having a friend with you can provide reassurance as you will have someone to go there with and someone to make sure you get home.
If you have a backpack with you it will get searched on entry and exit as well as when you are going towards the main stage. This is for everyone's safety but it can be time consuming and nerve racking. So if you can go without a backpack it will be easier.
It is just a really good experience! It reminds you that even though at times you may feel alone there are others who have had similar experiences so know what you are going through. This enables you to talk openly about your feelings, getting and providing support. This will hopefully result in lifelong friends or even just passing pals.
Remember, you are not alone.
Will Post Soon - Josh :)
Right now there is lots of anxiety
And feelings of uncertainty
But it will work you see
Because one day we will be free
No more sitting on the settee
Or endless watching tv
We will go to the sea
We will be happy
Just trust me.
A range of weather
We need to come together
Or lose our planet forever?
Choose to beat
We need to stop this heat
Defeat will not be our fate
It’s not too late.
Some live in poverty,
Whilst we are all sitting here happily.
This is injustice,
We need to stop this crime.
Now is the time.
Sitting right outside your door
It makes us unhappy
There we stood:
At the top of the world,
We had ascended above it all.
I felt so tall,
The city of lights like the stars above,
In the city of love.
I was content up there,
The fresh cool air
Wild wind blowing through my hair.
I didn’t have a single care
I am so thankful I got that experience,
Thankful that you took me
Another world we got to see,
How the stars they did dance,
When we were in France.
Then we had to descend
And our time, it came to an end.
With many of us wanting to show our support for the Black Lives Matter movement that erupted after the murder George Floyd by a white police officer who knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. But many of us are not being able to go to protests due to lockdown rules and social distancing measures. Which is okay because there are other ways in which we can show our support, such as donating. But, not all of us have the funds to donate, so how can we help from home?
Sign petitions. This is important as it will encourage those in power to make changes to laws and legislations in order to gain the change that we so desperately need. There is a document full of links at the bottom of this article, so please sign them and then share.
Have the talk. No, not the birds and the bees talk! Sit down with friends or family members to have important talks about what is going on in society. But only do this if you can be sure that it won’t put you in harm's way.
Educate yourself. None of us are perfect so we all must do our bit to stay informed on what is going on. It is not the job of black people and people of colour to educate white people. We must do it ourselves and there is no shortage of resources out there. There is the book Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge, and it is really informative. She also has a blog and a podcast which you should checkout. However, there are obviously many other resources out there. So now, whilst we are in lockdown, is a perfect time to do some research.
Share information. After you have done your research, repost, like and comment on some of the many helpful posts that are out there on social media platforms. This shares vital information that people may have not seen. A good Instagram account to follow is educate.retaliate. They are usually really useful and reliably sourced information but you should always check the information yourself as this prevents the spread of fake news that social media apps may not have picked up on.
Although we currently can't go out to protests, there are many other ways in which you can support the movement.
Will Post Soon - Josh