DISEMBODYING THE BLACK BRIT
The notion of the Black Brit is a confusing one. An identity that replicates the arbitrary boundaries drawn across Africa, shoving colonised bodies into a category contingent on the colonial core. The Black Brit is engaged in a constant battle to reassert itself as a legitimate identity. But is it legitimate? As Paul Gilroy (1993) notes, "the fundamental, time-worn assumption of homogenous and unchanging black communities […] proved to be a fantasy" (p.1). This is a category made up of pasts and presents fragmented by ethnic, historical and geographical location. This work disembodies the Black Brit by delegitimising it - where legitimacy is an appeal for recognition from the colonial masters who marked us and drew us to this land. I take the Black Brit's incoherence as its major resistive strength and seek out the sites of its discombobulation. Beginning with a conversation between myself and others about upbringing, day to day lives, passions and dislikes, our influences. Africa is extracted from its spatial location and contorted by these individuals in its conflict with Britain. In presenting this disjointed roundtable the viewer sees our similarities and differences constantly making and unmaking the Black Brit.
My name is Christiana Ajai-Thomas but most people refer to me as Roni. I am a Black Brit currently at the end of my BSc in Sociology and an incoming Master's student at the LSE. I am most interested in postcolonial, Black Marxist and queer theories, and my recent dissertation looks at how LGBT+ Nigerians experience and respond to policing in Nigeria.