This week, in recognition of Black History Month, I invited my old friend Joya Georgewill to explore the topic of OWNING OUR BLACK HISTORY
Joya revealed how she has never before spoken up about her ‘lost identity’ and so I felt extremely privileged that she was willing to be so open in this conversation with me.
I found it really moving to hear how Joya went about claiming her identity and sense of belonging and how she had to do that without positive role models or representation.
Joya talks about this as an ongoing challenge and her experience really helps me to understand the importance of representation in society.
She is now using her personal history as powerful material for her dissertation towards a Master’s degree in Art Psychotherapy. She is hoping to go onto provide what she never had growing up, which is a positive role-model and a safe space for expression for people of colour.
Joya’s experience goes to the heart of the self-doubt challenge, which is about claiming our identity and finding a safe space to belong that many people will identify with. The important difference is how, as a person of colour, growing up in England, this was enforced upon her from a society where it wasn’t safe to be her full self.
This is an experience that I have never known and I’m so grateful to Joya for being so open about this so that I can learn from her.
“To be able to exist in the white community I grew up in, I denied my skin colour to myself…”