Mixed race woman reveals the shocking racism she experienced at school

Mixed race woman called names like ‘mushroom head’ as a child says there is ‘no excuse for the lack of racial awareness taught in schools’ – after a teacher told her to ‘stop feeling victimised’

  • Evey Gordon, from Derriford, recounts tales of casual racism in spoken poem
  • Said fellow pupils would ask if she could twerk and if they could touch her hair
  • Argues there is ‘no excuse for lack of racial awareness taught in our schools’

A young mixed race woman has penned a powerful spoken poem calling on people to ‘fight for equality’ – and argued there is ‘no excuse for the lack of racial awareness taught in schools’ after a teacher told her to ‘stop feeling victimised’.

Evey Gordon, from Derriford, opened up about the shocking racism she has encountered during her lifetime, much of which happened while she was at secondary school.

Her comments follow the Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the UK following the murder of George Floyd by white police officers in Minneapolis. Activists are calling for the removal of 60 statues of slave owners and racists across Britain.

Speaking in a video shared by the BBC, Evey said she felt compelled to speak out ‘with everything going on in the world at the moment’, but ‘couldn’t find the words’. 

Instead she penned a powerful ‘spoken poem’ entitled Where Do I Draw The Line? to summarise her experience of prejudice as a result of her race and explain what it’s like growing up in her area. 

She started by revealing people called her names like ‘mushroom head’ and asked if she could twerk, which ‘drove her mad’.  

Evey recalled how she was told by peers her hair looks ‘so much better straight’, and admitted she took chemicals to it and ‘killed every last curl on my head’. 

‘That day I ensured every ounce of my blackness was dead,’ she said. 

Evey recalled how she was told by peers her hair looks ‘so much better straight’, and admitted she took chemicals to it and ‘killed every last curl on my head’

‘What about when I spilt my chocolate milkshake all over my skin, and one boy said, “That’s OK ‘cos it just blends in”.

‘Peers would sing N words in songs at parties with pride – it hurt, but I took it in my stride.’ 

Evey recalled being asked if her family smoked weed all the time, and while it was ‘rude’, it’s ‘not a hate crime’.

She claimed she was told by her teacher that she needs to ‘stop feeling so victimised’, to which she asked, ‘where do you draw the line?’

Evey claimed she was told by her teacher that she needs to ‘stop feeling so victimised’, to which she asked, ‘where do you draw the line?’

‘What about the boy that called me the N word on Facebook? Or that time I got told to go back to where I came from?

‘I mean I was born in Derriford, but by all means carry on. What about the words “You’re black, I hate you”.’

Evey recalled times she heard the phrase ‘racism doesn’t really exist in the UK’ and was told ‘you’re not really that black’ – and stressed there is ‘no excuse’ for the way she was treated.

She concluded her poem with a call to action; she said: ‘There is no excuse for this abuse, so I will not be seated.

‘There is no excuse for the lack of racial awareness that is taught in our schools, there is no excuse for this to carry on. There is no excuse for racism and I will not stop until it’s gone.’

Evey concluded her poem with a call to action, stating there is ‘no excuse’ for the way she was treated

Evey added: ‘And to my beautiful black brothers and sisters who grew up in a community which told them that they are not wanted, which told them that they are a novelty, that they are only a fascination, a curiosity; which told them that they are not good enough, that they are not equal, who were told to sit down and shut up when they rose to speak their truth, it’s OK if these moments have shaped you.

‘But don’t you ever let them define you because I see you. I hear you and I stand with you.

‘And finally to everyone. To those who are not aware of what happens in their own community, who contributed to our struggle, who caused disunity. To those who were aware but stayed silent, to those who have fought for us every step of the way, you now see us, fight for justice, fight for equality, stand with us, not just today.’

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