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The killing of George Floyd and the subsequent events that have taken place world-wide, have highlighted the systemic racism that exists globally. Off The Record understands our responsibility to stand with the black community, in challenging injustice and racism; this includes confronting the significant racial inequalities in the mental health system. 

We are committed to looking at ourselves as a community-centred organisation and at our work with children and young people, to speaking out against racism and to speaking up for racial equality in order to ensure that we say loudly and clearly that Black Lives Matter, in everything we do.

As Audre Lorde says “We have the power those who came before us have given us, to move beyond the place where they were standing."

As James Baldwin says "Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced."

As Maya Angelou says "Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible."

Leon one of our Community counsellors has written a poem about his current thoughts and feelings. 

If you would like to write a poem and let us have it for the website, we would be very grateful. Please click here and use the form on the page to make a submission. Thank you.

I'm so tired of being a target because I'm a black man. Also because of my size I'm more of a threat. Respect is little or none by some and you end being numb. 

I'm so tired of the micro aggression and micro traumas of stereotypes against me and the expectancy to be a person that fits your Image of me I'm so tired. 

I'm so tired as I just want live and breathe the same air as all in this world, without fearing for today it could be my last due to insecurities and power lusts of those we are supposed to trust. 

I'm so TIRED I just want to be........ just me, authentically me Leon Berry. I'm so tired.

Aren't you tired?

Tips for self care in the name of racial injustice

Pretty for a Dark Skinned Girl

 

As the Sun beams om my face I feel the transformation of my cells and the pigment in my skin changing.

Strengthening

They say my smile is enchanting. My teeth shine, bright, gleaming.

They say my tone, smooth, glows, reflects, diamonds, sparkles, illuminates.

They say my eyes invite, encourage, seeking, sings.

They say I’m pretty for a Dark Skinned Girl.

 

I lay in the Morrocan fire, thanking it for the nourishment it gives, for the rebirth of my

Spirit.

The say my nose is “as cute as a button”, not straight but not offensively wide.

They say my cheekbones are high, sharp and cut like a Michaelangelo Princess.

They say my eyebrows perfectly framing, directing, expressing.

They say I’m pretty for a Dark Skinned Girl.

 

I rotate myself, spit roasting, I become sweeter, tastier, my flavour

Enriching.

They say I’m pretty despite my obvious Negro “boo boo” bloodline.

They ask where I’m from, must be Jamaica, no Bajan? Ah ha Ghanian.

They say “Nigerian, really? Wow never would’ve said”.

They say I’m pretty for a Nigerian Girl.

 

I stand and bask in the Gold richness, my melanin drinking, age defiant

Youthful.

I say what do you know of pretty when corruption erodes your skin.

I say how can you tell me of pretty when you falsify your truth till you’re tasteless.

I say catch yourself, your tongue, and it’s lies, a coffin for your thoughts.

I say in Darkness seeds of Beauty Grow.

 

I danced in the heated streams, closing my eyes, inhaling, breathing,

Living.

I say I’m disgusted by your observations, your ignorance, your prejudice.

I say you can take your pretty and bath in it, frankly you need it more than me.

I say my heart pumps my love to my soul, to my brain, to my spirit. I believe in me.

I am not my skin – I AM.

I am Black!

Why does the colour of my skin threaten you?

Why does my presence disturb you?

I am Black!

Why does my success intimidate you?

Why does my strength make you tremble?

We are Black!

We jog, We earn money, We own businesses.

We buy houses/flats, we rent properties.

We picnic in the park, we go to the beach.

We go shopping, we go for walks, We go to Church.

We go to the cinema, we go to the gym, we drive cars.

We play, we BBQ and have parties.

And yes, we wear hoodies!

Help me to understand why these things are a problem.

Help me to understand why being BLACK is the crime.

Call us

Saturday Support 020 8175 6776

You can call us on Saturdays from 10am-1pm to speak to a counsellor for confidential support.

Email us