Coping with Racism

People interviewed have expressed different ways of coping with racism over the years. Some of their strategies were influenced by supportive people around them, while others didn’t want to feel like they were burdening people. Everyone has different coping mechanisms and one strategy will not suit everyone.

Morcea was inspired by her father who reminded her that she should not feel the burden of other peoples ignorance. “I remember going home across the road and my dad, who worked nights and he awoke and saw I was crying and said to me, ‘Do you know what? The next time anybody says something to you, you say to them, it’s your problem, not mine.’ And I kept that as actually, ‘It’s your problem, not mine.’ My dad said, ‘You’re proud, you’re bright, you’re a capable young lady. Don’t make it an issue. Make it their problem. Don’t make it yours!” Morcea Walker MBE (Interviewed 04 April 2017)

Margaret discussed how people cope with racism and the importance of having support to help you seek a resolution and move on. “I hate the word victim because most people cope with it and they cope with it extremely well. They only use the law if they feel there’s justice there to be gained. Nobody can cope with anything if they just think that actually nobody believes them. That nobody thinks it’s important. However, once you’re shown the way to actually do something about it, you’ve got some sort of control over it all, then it’s easier to move on.” Margaret Plowman (Interviewed 13 March 2017)

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