Smooth, angry, cool, powerful: how we talk about blackness

Teacher and writer Jeffrey Boakye has encountered endless labels all of which have informed his experience of being black and British today. Here, he unpicks their meanings BLACK Ive been black since about 1988, when I was colouring in pictures of priests at Corpus Christi Roman Catholic primary school in Brixton Hill, south London. I remember it well. We were sharing tables and colouring pencils and I looked up to find that there were no more skin colour pencils available in the pencil pot. By skin colour, I mean a shade of pinkish beige that was a pretty spot-on facsimile of what we can call white, European skin. Caucasian colour. With a hint of tan. Tea with an overgenerous splash …

‘Blackness will never go away’: how Solange takes pride in her roots

At an immersive, city-wide multimedia presentation of her new album When I Get Home, the singer-songwriter explains how her childhood home of Houston nourished her creative spirit Its one thing to think with your spirit, says Solange Knowles. Its another to actually live it through your body. The Solange of today works with feelings, grooves, and frequencies in mind. If When I Get Home, her latest release, is the sonic manifestation of that blackness. Staccato rhythms and meditative mantras designed to ground and heal her after time on the road ripple on through the bodies of her listeners. Its an album about settling into familiarity: with yourself, the people around you, and the places one calls home. At the SHAPE …