WATCH: Candice Brathwaite, Charlie Brinkhurst Cuff, and Elisabeth Fapuro in Conversation
At the Hay Festival Winter Weekend
The Hay Festival, now in its 21st year, brings writers and readers together in a free digital space of thoughtful conversation, storytelling, comedy, and family fun. This year, the Festival has been streamed live with a star-studded line-up of speakers and performers, and is currently available for public viewing.
From assessing the cultural impact of Marvel’s Black Panther to celebrating activism in local communities, the essays in Loud Black Girls offer funny, touching and insightful perspectives on the question of “What’s Next?” Two of its contributing authors, Charlie Brinkhurst Cuff and Elisabeth Fapuro, speak with Candice Brathwaite, founder of Make Motherhood Diverse and author of I Am Not Your Baby Mother, a timely book about the problematically homogenous portrayal of maternity in British media.
From the video:
Candice Brathwaite: I’m the most pessimistic activist you’ll ever meet because I have no doubt that we’ll be doing this—like I’ll be someone’s ancestor and we will still be in the thick of this conversation. And any work I do now or my peers do now or people who are activists do now: it only adds to a slight shuffle forward in making the space even and comfortable for Black people. It’s only this incremental move. I don’t foresee a big change happening in my lifetime and not in the lifetime of my kids. (I can imagine my grandchildren.) This is slow moving work because the reality is people like power, and that’s what this structure is. This is what white supremacy is; it’s a hierarchy: it’s someone being beneath you; it’s you feeling like you can call shots. And like you said Sophie, it’s all well and good—everyone reading this material and “doing the work.” But when we come down to it, and you ask someone “Would you risk your job to be fair?” “Would you risk your job for the truth?” “Would you risk your relationship or your marriage when you know the person you lie down next to doesn’t value Black lives?” that’s when the uncomfortable silence comes in. And until people are ready to dissolve their lives and not be so comfortable in their position of power, I think it’s just going to be an ongoing conversation.
For access to the Festival’s full archive, please visit hayfestival.org/hayplayer, and support their work at hayfestival.org/support-us.