27 Years after Stephen Lawrence’s death, has institutionalised racism reduced in the UK?

Two steps forward another four back? What progress has really been made for black people In the UK, since the infamous death of Stephen Lawrence. Are we any closer to ‘equality’ ? 

By Odi Uzoigwe  

As you guys are probably aware of, October is black history month in the UK. This article post is important is going to look into, institutional racism in the UK since the tragic death of Stephen Lawrence. A moment that changed British history forever. 

Stephen Lawrence is a name that, holds a lot of meaning to black people in the UK. Twenty-seven years ago, he was murdered by a group a white boys for no other reason, other than race. The incident occurred in South London, at a bus stop. The cultural and judicial impact of his death, is widely recognised. In order to really understand this topic, we must first define institutional racism. Macpherson’s defined institutionalised racism as ‘the collective failure of an organisation to provide, an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture, or ethnic origin’. He was the lead judge, on Stephen Lawrence case and found that there was gross misconduct from, the police force due to racist attitudes. The fact that his murders got charged in 2012, when this happened in 1993 can account for that.  

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The final report caused, reforms in the police force. In order to reduce and exile institutional racism. But what does that mean in practice? It means that there should be no prejudice, or discrimination taken in institutions due to someone’s colour. It is important to identify that this type of racism, is not always as violent as the Stephen Lawrence case.  

Let’s take a look at the school institution, to see if there is less prejudice there. If we look back to our times in secondary school, when teachers would be scolding the black boys more in class. Either for being too ‘loud’ or ‘disruptive’. Well when we were younger, we may not have known it but, this is called labelling. It is often used against, black students and can have significant effects on them. In the sociological field, this has been discussed for the last twenty years. The discourse argues that, due to these labels, black students might self-endorse (self-fulfilling prophecy) them. This leads them to, not perform as well as their white counterparts.  Additionally, this can be supported if we look at, the official statics on it. In 2018, the % of black students achieving the standard five or more, A*-C in GCSE was 38% and for white students it was 42%. Now of course, the sole reason is not due to labelling. Nevertheless, we can not deny the continuous difference in achievement.  

So, have we really moved towards a more ‘equal society? In short no, but one thing that we can take from 2020; is the well spread awareness it has brought to discrimination that black people face. The black lives matter movement, was sparked again from the wrongful killings of Goerge Floyd and Breonna Taylor in America. It caused a global outrage, and sparked a lot of necessary conversation about, what can be done to narrow inequalities between black and white people. Institutionalised racism is embedded in societies structures, it can only even begin to be dismantled, from the very branch root. However, movements like #blacklivesmatter not only help spread awareness, but also create initiatives and schemes to lessen inequality.  

I will be back with a new blog post, sooner than you think. See you later and share this article if you can, follow our instagram @theowordblog for more content. Bye xx #theowordblog

Navigating ‘the next chapter’

What’s next for the graduates ?

By Odi Uzoigwe

Hi everyone, I know it’s been a while. But I’m back with a new post, this is going to be particularly relevant for recent graduates. Who like me , are trying to find their feet now that university is over.

I am officially a Sociology and Politics graduate, glory be to God. It can be argued that everything, we’ve worked for academically leads to this point. So why does this moment feel almost, lacklustre. The university bubble has now popped. The job market in recent years, has been increasingly difficult to get into. Aside from when there was a global pandemic, so you can imagine what it is like now. According to ‘ Research Professional News’, about 30% of graduates would have normally found their jobs, in sectors that have been hit the hardest by COVID-19. The truth is, it is going to be harder to find a job than it would have normally been. In this blog post, I will be discussing how we, can navigate into this next chapter in our lives.

1. SETTINGS GOALS

In this day and age of, being young and accomplished. It is very easy to feel like you have to have, everything figured out by 25. The added pressure of what we see on social media, is no help. The reality is, as long as you set goals to help you achieve what you want. You are on the right track ! These can be big long term ones, or shorter ones that will help for the moment. When making goals, it is important to be precise, the more precise, the more likely you’ll be able to measure your progress towards it. I personally enjoy making lists of goals, writing them done makes them feel more tangible to me.

2. REMAIN CONSISTENT

Leading of setting goals, another thing that is important is remaining consistent. In regards to finding out what you want to do next, researching jobs, applying for jobs, finding online courses in your field that can boost your cv, finding mentorship schemes and networking with experts in your fields. Remaining consistent will allow you us too, stay focused on what we want in our next chapters.

3. UNDERSTANDING THAT YOUR TIME WILL COME

As long as you have active goals, and objectives to help you achieve what you want in life. Your time will come! As cliche as it sounds, it is true. Hard work in any field pays off. Everything in life isn’t going to happen immediately, even though it may seem like it is for others. Everyone is on their own unique paths, Comparison is the thief of Joy. Speaking from a Christian point of view, this is particularly evident. Jeremiah 29:11 ‘ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ God has a plan for all of us, and we all have a purpose in life. Even when it feels, like we are not ‘achieving’ anything. Trust in God, in all that you do.

4. KEEP YOURSELF OCCUPIED

Now is a good time to start something you always wanted to, for me it was this blog and content writing. For you it could an online course, that is relative to your field. As I briefly, mentioned before. These can be found by several organisations online, with a little research you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Our minds are powerful, it is important to try and not allow ourselves to wallow in doubt. Celebrate your wins small or big, for my fellow recent graduates of 2020. CONGRATULATIONS ! Finishing university is such an achievement, both academically and mentally. Whether you’re going on to further studies, or job hunting. Good luck with it all, I hope this blog post, gave some encouragement. Don’t put too much pressure on yourselves, but be active in your goals for what you want next.

Make sure you’re following @theowordblog on Instagram, I post regular content on there. Also, my personal twitter is @msodzz.

See you soon x

My Favourite Fashion Retailers

Hey guys, welcome back to my blog. Hope you’re all well, and these unprecedented times are not too hard for you. This is a post that was requested via instagram, @theowordblog. I will be listing and discussing my top 4 fashion retailers. My go to shops for any occasions.

This list is in particular order, without further ado. Bershka is one of favourites, because they are affordable and keep up with the trends. There is a certain European feel to the designs too. They do have an online store, but I tend to shop in their westfield London branch for convince. Down below are some of my favourite outfits from them.

The outfit with orange see through top, and shorts is all from Bershka. The other outfit, only the top is Bershka. I think both of these tops are unique to Bershka. The orange top says ‘ not common’ , I personally really liked this detail. I was on party holiday when I wore the orange outfit, so it was important for me to have outfits that would not be worn by everyone.

My next favourite is pretty little thing. Nearly all my outfits all the time are from here. Pretty little thing is an online fashion retailer, and one of the most popular in the Uk fashion scene right now. They regularly update their website, with new pieces. Therefore, there are many options to chose from. I would say pretty little thing are one of, the main trendsetters in the scene. They make everything from clothes to shoes to accessories. There’s always something that you will like on their website. They have been able to create a brand, that many women around the world would want to be seen in.

These are some of my favourite pretty little thing fits. As you can see, they have a range of clothes from casual to dressy. I’m quite a fan of ballon sleeve (as seen in the brown dress and grey jumper). I am also a fan of, of wide exaggerated sleeves (as see in the yellow top). These are features of pretty little thing clothes, in which I believe distinguishes them from the rest.

Oh polly Oh Polly. From the clothes themselves to the packaging , everything is done perfectly. Oh polly have managed to brand themselves very successfully. Their online social media presence, and use of influencer market has helped them create this brand. They are one of the most successful online fashion retailers in the Uk. When you see an Oh polly piece of clothing you will know immediately. Below, are some of my favourite Oh Polly outfits I’ve worn. I have quite a slim physique, and Oh Polly’s clothes help to accentuate my curves. Oh polly’s clothes will make any woman, feel stunning.

Shein is a popular online fashion retailer. They offer a wide variety of menswear, children’s wear and womenswear. I order a lot of handbags from them, as they are affordable and unique. Shein is not a fashion retailer, that a lot of people would think of at first. But it’s a hidden treasure, because of this, you can expect clothing that not everyone else will have. In regards to, swimwear Shein is my go to. They have trendy and comfortable swimwear, and for both my holidays last summer. All my swimwear was from them.

These are some of my Shein faves.

Hope you all enjoyed this post. I really do want to inspire everyone, to be able to express themselves with how they dress. I hope this post helps gives you some advice, feel free to get in contact and make sure you follow us on socials @theowordblog on Instagram. See you soon x

#fashionblogger #blackblogger #newblogger #zerotohero #ukblogger #prettylittlething #ohpolly

My first post….. live from Quarantine. What about the Uni students ?

I have had an interest in blogging and social media, for a while now. But like many of us young people, I procrastinate ….. A LOT. Nonetheless, here we are my first blog post. This post is coming out whilst times are very uncertain, and to make matters worse I was meant to graduate this summer. However, Coronavirus hit the UK by surprise and it kind of feels like life is not real at the moment. Especially being a University student, doesn’t it feel like we’ve just been ‘abandoned’ ? One thing that we should take comfort in is, we are not in this alone. All around the word, millions of students are feeling the same. It is important to remember that, this will be over and we will still get our degrees. Therefore, we must still work towards this. I have come with a 5 simple steps, that could help us all.

Image of my campus, University of Kent.
Image@flickr.com

1. MAKE A ROUTINE

Whether we like it or not, we still have uni work to do. Although these are conditions that, we could have never foreseen. Many of us, especially third year students, still have exams and assignments. The best way to achieves as highly as we can, is to make a routine for ourselves. Making sure that, work is still getting done. For me, fixing my sleeping pattern (somewhat) has helped. Everyone works well during different hours of the day, but I can get most work done during mid day. I’ve made a timetable to make sure I get at least 4 hours a day done. A little bit of work, goes a long way.

2. ALLOW YOURSELF MORE TIME

As these are unprecedented times, it’s important to take it each day at a time. Sometimes you’re going to want to just relax, or not feel like doing work. That was me for, the first two weeks of lockdown. However, after making a routine I do feel better. But I have noticed that, my work rate is a lot slower. So when I am completing deadlines, I allow myself more time for things that I would normally achieve quicker. Be easy on yourself, and appreciate the things you do have right now.

3. PRAY

I am a Christian, and in times like this it is important to remain prayerful. You don’t need to be extremely religious to do this, you just need to have faith. Praying for me gives extreme comfort, that God is control at the end of the day. As a Christian, I try not to live in fear. These are awful times, and people are dying daily from this virus. But it will not last forever, and hopefully there will better times after this.

4. ADJUST YOUR MINDSET

Like most things in life, it all starts with us. Our minds are very powerful. What we think and our outlooks on situations, effect us greatly. I believe in the law of attraction, if you want something you will get. We all want to do well in our degrees, and despite these circumstances that has not changed. Positive and negative thoughts, will effect the outcome of this. In the beginning of this pandemic, it did not feel like an issue that we would ever be effected by. However now, it’s very real and very disheartening. I was still in the hopes of, going to my universities library. But ofcourse, things have changed greatly. I have had to adjust my mind to accepting that, my uni work has to be completed in different settings.

5. FIND OUT WHAT YOUR UNI CAN HELP WITH

Many universities, if not all have put in place policies to help us. I feel bombarded with new emails everyday, they are important and could contain information to help. Universities are able to help with resources, that you may not have thought of. My university has introduced a ‘no-detriment’ policy you help ease of the pressure too.

I hope this blog post has been useful, these are things that I think, all university students can benefit from in some way or another. Most importantly take of yourself. See you soon x

#blackbloggers #universitystudents #socialissues #zerotohero