Thandi Dube

Tell us about yourself? What is your heritage/race?


What are you most proud of about your heritage?

Blended families. The culture, the food. Omg, the food!

Let’s talk a bit about your family. Have they been the ones to teach you about your histories? Are you comfortable talking about any hardships they have faced over the years?

Yes, my Dad moved in with my mum and nan initially into white suburbia and if my dad would walk my mum's dog, white women dog walking would run away from him. One of the most racist things to have happened to my family is when my Dad got beaten up by 4 white men and then up by the police who used batons and arrested him at the scene. It was a farce... It ended up going to court... (see more of this story here)

Tell us a bit about your childhood. What was your school/university experience like?

How was it overall?

I was "the black girl" in the white school and so when I finally went to college I saw the "Black" group and thought I was one of them then I was rejected there because I was "white" and I was like... Umm, what... Anyway, I ended up with a group of mixed-race friends and people who were Pakistani, an integrated group of Black and mixes.

Do you feel like your race and culture was a topic covered in school?

Unless it was to tell us about slavery or the fact we live in poverty, no.

Have you ever encountered any difficulties in your working career?

Yes. I've just made a complaint about my manager; She regularly tells me to "leave the country", people should "go back to their own country", "I think black men have a chip on their shoulder", "Asian people are liars", "I'm going to smack you round the head", and "I'm going to slap you"

When it comes to relationships, do you find there any challenges that you face?

Eurgh, fetishism when people want to "try black" but not really cause I'm light mixed race. Don't tell me you like "Black girls" and date me. It's gross.

Do you feel you have been denied any opportunities in your life?

Yep. Being called aggressive by my head of year in year 7 and they told another school we were looking at that I had ADHD. I didn't get in.

Have you ever experienced a time where you felt someone of a different race has stood up for you and actively shown solidarity?

Yes. I have a lot of white friends that are so disgusted with the behavior of other white people.

What do you think is the most difficult part about living in Britain for yourself?

Learning to accept racism in everyday life. See racist politicians be elected into power or prime minister and then having racism redefined by white people to say that's okay. The fact that if you call anything out you're disgusting or argumentative. The fact that calling out of racism is more offensive than racism.

How do you think we can better educate ourselves in the UK about race and equality? Listen. When a POC tells you about their experience listen. When a politician says racist stuff and the only people that say it's not racist are white. Listen. Stop electing racist people to lead the country.

Anything else that you want to address? This is all about you and your story. We want you to feel free and safe to tell us what you feel is necessary.

That I can see attitudes are changing but they are limited while racist officials are leading the UK and America. Let's not make "racist" a taboo word. Let's not get offended by the word. Understand it and understand why Boris Johnson's statements are racist. Simple as.

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