Black campaigning city mum to quit United Kingdom for St Kitts over fears of racism
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by Jane Haynes
(Birmingham LIVE) May 25, 2021 – Justice Williams MBE says she fears her son won’t get equal chance to excel because of bias against boys of colour. She is far from alone
Birmingham Live in the United Kingdom reports that a black campaigning city mum has told how she is quitting the UK amid fears her young son will face ‘ingrained racism’ at secondary school and in the community.
Justice Williams, a business coach for women, brands experts and entrepreneur, is to leave for the island of St Kitts this summer, believing her 10 year old son will likely face ‘unconscious bias’, be subject to stereotyping and will face a lack of black teacher role models if the family stays in the UK.
Another black parent, businessman and activist Tru Powell, has also taken to social media to claim his primary school age sons were called the n-word by other young children.
“He cried himself to sleep,” he writes of his eight year old son after one incident. “He told me he didn’t want to be black.”
They are just some of the experiences shared by black parents in Birmingham and the Black Country who have come together to form a support network to positively address concerns around race.
The group, already 100-strong after just two weeks, are now working up plans to create a Saturday school and mentor scheme for black kids in Birmingham, with a determination to celebrate their amazing young people, said one of its organisers, Kadi Wilson, a music, arts and marketing professional.
Justice, 40, who was awarded an MBE in 2009 for her work with young people, says her professional insight and conversations with other parents whose children are already in the secondary system leave her in no doubt that racism “is still alive and kicking”.
“I do not want my son Isaiah to go to secondary education here,” said the Harborne mum.
“I worry about the stereotyping of black boys and how that impacts how they are treated in school.
“There is a marked lack of representation of black teachers and people who understand their experiences, and that has an impact on young people’s aspirations.
“I want to stay and fight to make things better but I have to also prioritise my children.
“We are bombarded in the media with images of young black boys with knives and in gangs, and society has ingrained that idea that black boys are trouble. Even when they are just hanging out with their friends they are perceived as a threat.”
She added: “Young people’s aspirations are limited as a result, they have to constantly overcome that unconscious bias.”
Justice said her own son’s primary schooling had been in a good, diverse school with no obvious issues of racism. But she was conscious his positive experience was not shared by all boys of colour.
“I would never want my son to be afraid, or not to be afforded opportunities, because of his skin colour and I believe that will be better achieved somewhere else, not here,” she said.
Locally, she said she was concerned too about a loss of youth activities and lack of youth workers, with high rates of children living in poverty.
“Too many young children are on the streets, with nowhere much to go. It does not matter how talented or aspirational they are, if they live in the inner city they still face big barriers,” she said.
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