But Where Are You Really From?
“Where are you from?” I’m asked. “The UK,” I reply. “I mean where are you originally from?” “Zambia,” I reply. These questions are very familiar to those from visible ethnic groups in the UK who have had to answer these questions many times in their lives. It may seem like a simple question, but behind it lay assumptions and an ignorance that are far, far more complicated. As a black woman born and living in the UK – a melting pot of different cultures – I find this question a loaded one, one that seeks to put me in a box: where am I in relation to you? A judgement based on the colour of my skin, when my very identity is made up of so many things. I am not a single narrative, I am not a stereotype and until we share a diversity of stories, dangerous assumptions will persist. So, you want to know where I’m really from? Here is my story; may it impact yours. In this thought-provoking essay, CEO of Christian Aid, Amanda Mukwashi, challenges polarising perceptions and celebrates universal connections of identity, humanhood and hope.
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