Why we need the Black Woman’s Hour

I recently featured in Episode 3 aka Ebony & Brownvory of the Black Woman’s Hour which is hosted by my friend Ava Vidal and Ayisha Vigneswaren, alongside journalist Ash Sarkar.

Some of you may be asking isn’t there already a Woman’s Hour, and the answer to this question is yes. The BBC has a highly successful daily magazine radio show (which has run for nearly 75 years) currently hosted by Emma Barnett and Anita Rani – who joined the show as permanent hosts in 2021 following Jenni Murray and Jane Garvey’s departure in December 2020.

So what motivated Ava to start a channel that centred Black Women, was that she wanted a place where we could have conversations/ issues pertinent to us and our intersectionality. This became even more urgent following the treatment of actress and podcaster Kelechi Okafor, where she overheard off air comments made about her by Emma Barnett.

So back to the Black Woman’s Hour, I didn’t solely agree to be on it because Ava is my friend, but also to show that we as Black people aren’t a monolith. There are many times we will agree, but as we in the UK come from the African diaspora and are informed by our different cultures and political beliefs we can provide a kaleidoscope of views that come in as many shades as our skin complexion as well as other spectrums we may inhabit. I have to say I adore this platform, and did so even before I was invited and it’s great to see intelligent conversations like this being showcased.

Topics covered in the episode I was on include the tensions between Black and South Asians in the UK, which remains topical as we see the criticism leveled at the home secretary, Priti Patel following her comments about Black Lives Matter and protests earlier this week. I mean it’s dreadful to protest wanting basic human rights. I mean holding a mirror to society is problematic but racism isn’t (please read this comment in the tone of dripping sarcasm that it was written in). This is an example for why BAME is a term that should be abandoned as we really aren’t the same but I digress. We also discussed the role of white people in the anti-racism movement, Slumflower and maintaining ourselves during this pandemic.

Previous episodes of the Black Woman’s Hour looked at the relationship between the Black and Jewish communities, as well as those who reside at that intersection – yes there are Black Jewish people but you wouldn’t necessarily know it.

Black representation in the media has also been tackled ie just because you are Black does it mean you should speak whenever asked for a position statement from the “Black Community” featuring Cyndi Handson Ellesse and the football legend John Barnes.

The episode after mine talks to DJ Biggy C and Marc Thompson about being being Black gay male about #GorillaGlueGirl, and the brilliant show It’s A Sin.

If you haven’t watched the Black Woman’s Hour, it’s available on YouTube with a new episode going out weekly. Watch, comment, subscribe and share today. You won’t be disappointed.

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