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March 2014
11

Inspired by the truth and power of #ITooAmHarvard, people of colour who are students at University of Oxford in the U.K. created #ITooAmOxford to speak of their experiences with racism on campus. The photographs are diverse (there’s more on their site) and here I included some of the ones of Black women/women of African descent (my apologies if I misread any genders) as I did when I posted my now viral post on I Too Am Harvard because again it reveals the racist assumptions about both their intelligence and appearance, something I dealt with as a Black woman when I was younger and in undergrad/grad. I also noticed the sense of “place” and nationality that impacts the stereotypes that they face. 

This is a point for the lies about racism being uniquely American to stop. Now. Today. I am tired of weekly emails from Whites ahistorically announcing how racism does not exist in the U.K. It is not their place to make that determination anyway; only Black and other people of colour can. The person who experiences the oppression, not the oppressor, the oppressed, not the privileged, speak truth to the experiences.

These students are speaking their truths. Do not ignore them. Their lives matter. They deserve better than the stress and even physical/mental health issues that dealing with racism can cause. Stereotype threat is real and impacts academic performance and health. 

I wish these students the best. Much love. 

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