As a black girl, living in Brighton, England

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Picture gotten from-Proud Brighton

A lot of black people I’ve been privileged to converse with are skeptical about having to move to or study in Brighton. The popular buzz of Brighton being known as a major gay city also tends to affirm their dislike for this beautiful town.

I moved to Brighton September 2014 with the sole purpose of studying and not paying much attention to the city as I wasn’t an outing type of person before arriving. I was enticed by the beach and the pebbles by the sea front during an open day visit in my foundation year which was supported by EF, Oxford (the foundation institution I had attended). The differences I had picked up with the culture, style and people compared to Oxford’s made me choose the University of Brighton instead of Oxford Brookes which had offered me an admission prior.

Firstly, I haven’t come across as many gay people as I had predicted on coming down here. Even during the gay pride festival that is usually hosted here on a yearly basis, I rarely see gay couples or find a group of gay people sitting, walking or chilling. It’s probably just me who isn’t looking hard enough. To clarify, having gay people in this city actually in my own opinion makes it more accepting and tolerable compared to other small and vibrant towns in England.

Secondly, as a black girl and as one who appreciates her cultural background and race, it wasn’t a problem building a community of friends that share the same interests as me. As there are two universities in Brighton, University of Brighton and University of Sussex, this city is filled with both home and abroad students and therefore finding where you may belong isn’t a problem. There are clubs and communities open for all kinds of people and interests within and outside the schools’ premises. This is to say that every year, the population of blacks admitted into both universities are always significantly higher than the previous year so, don’t panic if you’re worried about this factor.

Thirdly, I’m quite a foodie and quite traditional as well as I enjoy cooking my own meals. Most times going out spontaneously with my friends to small restaurants and food places at the city’s center allows me appreciate different cultures and what they eat without having to visit their countries. Brighton is diverse with a plethora of local and international restaurants representing countries from across the globe, I however have exploited this privilege as a black girl who has come from Africa. I have tasted and tried cooking most of these dishes myself, as well as recommending them to friends.

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Picture gotten from-Brighton lanes

Racism. Socio-culturally, Brighton is very diverse and as a black girl I haven’t had a reason to question my skin colour and where I’ve come from since living here. It’s so diverse and free-spirited that I have only met two guys who actually admitted to being originally born and bred in Brighton, my co-worker at a night shift and the maintenance guy for my rented place. Compared to Budapest, Hungary, I never get conscious of my surroundings and certain places I tread because of the colour of my skin or the fear of what people may be thinking. Brighton is one of the least racist towns you can ever think of in England.

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Picture gotten from-Yablink

If you love greens and parks, books and rides, if you love events and dances, good night outs and games, Brighton is the place for you. This city is not anti-black or anti-any other race, It accepts, tolerates and builds with you as long as you are open.

The disadvantage however, for me is the fact that it is quite expensive to live in. Apart from that I can see myself settling and building a good life here as a black girl if I wanted to. It’s become my mini home.

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017.

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On ageing

In my thoughts, in my head, in my journal. Here.

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Win your battle before you come home to mine.

Don’t remind me the trails of footsteps I face everyday.

It’s not enough to live young, wild and free because I know of places that don’t bring me such experiences.

Hold onto the existence, let what you have to say complement mine. Let what you have to give add up.

Don’t scare me with silence. Don’t tell me I’m too young to learn what grey hair can teach. It’s my cup of tea.

I am not here to prove how much neither do I seek accomplishments that will one day be forgotten.

I’ve been told countless times to win, win and win but I never got led to. My bruises, pain, tears, countless failures equals me.

Give me what you call wisdom, give me peace of mind. I’ll find my fun,my energy, my space and most importantly, me in all of it. Let me be.

Ageing is just a state of mind.

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2016.

365 Days #26

Though the moon it’s time prevails

I know of a festive period

When the tick tocks unending

unmeaning less hour glass abound

from its premier to its 12th ember

Days and weeks are told,

But the sun joins never with the moon.

I hear the farmers call afar

the seasons far affront

My nation calls for renew

yet I remain the same, not for my leap there in.

Love and anxiety cries for a year more

But am no giver, am only nature

still hope and future I be.

Even my revolve I ought not to apprise

It’s summer’s winter again is waded

I am never in a haste to come, to breed?

So wait again, again and again until my shadow amidst

Am here now, forever and ever.

Poem of Hope. I pray each year we are given to live brings grace and bountiful blessings past all our struggles and pain. Feel free to share your own poems and thoughts on today’s reflection. Thank you

#TheGoodInMe

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2015.