On Monday 1 October I tweeted a 30 second clip from a video I pitched and directed for CBeebies in 2017 to commemorate Black History Month...It now has over 21,000 views, 500 retweets, 1,000 likes and a heart from 'Nappily Ever After's' Sanaa Lathan!
It was 2 weeks before Black History Month 2017, when my line manager emailed the team and asked if anyone had any idea's. Being the only black person in my team I could either do one of two things be offended that everyone naturally expected me to be the one to do it or I could be the black person who saw this a revolutionary opportunity to control and alter a narrative. You bet I chose the opportunity perspective!
Also, I'd like to take this time to point out that I've worked at the BBC since 2014 and this was the first time a line manager had actually acknowledged Black History Month...And no she was not black but she understood that this was a calendar event that mattered to Black British people who are also tax payers, with children who deserve the space to also learn about and be proud of their history, culture and identity.
So, 'Let's Talk About...' was born, a three part video series I pitched and directed to highlight amazing Black fathers and the relationships they share with their daughters through empowering and transparent conversations about black history, hair, family, food and cultural traditions. This piece of content was about challenging the single narrative about father absenteeism in the black community. Not only does it show an alternative perspective but it counteracts media stereotypes that can demonise how people think. I come from a wonderful, stable upbringing, my parents have been married for 37 years and my Dad has raised three successful black daughters. No he doesn't need an award for doing what a lot of Dad's do, but why is his side of the story hardly ever shown or told in the media?
If it wasn't for my Dad, I would honestly believe most black men are trash, if it wasn't for my Dad any and any stregz would be able to come and whisper sweet, empty NOTHINGS in my ear, if it wasn't for my Dad I would have no example of man to look for in my future husband. But because of my Dad I KNOW WHO I AM! A beautiful, black Queen who can achieve anything I put my mind to...This is what my Dad grew me up to believe and the result is who you see today, despite the everyday struggle of navigating my way through a society who hardly value Black women, my Dad's words are always a firm reminder of my true value and worth.
In the clip I tweeted, when asked about 'What she wants to be when she's older?', 5-year-old Willow replies to her Dad:
'An optician...And I want to be the first person to clear away pain!'
She continues, 'It's not good that people are in pain, they could die.'
These video's are important for all fathers, Caribbean, African, Jewish, Asian, Chinese or purple to encourage them to have conversations with their daughters and for ALL PARENTS to have these conversations with their children. My Mom is a professional Counsellor and always says 'Parents spell love - L.O.V.E but children spell love - T.I.M.E. Educational and informative conversations shape your child(rens) narrative and perspective of themselves, people and the world around them. What you talk to them about NOW in their critical period of learning and growing can be the making or breaking of them in the future. Parents, if you don't take the time out to have conversations with your child(ren) about who they are, someone else will tell them, social media will tell them, a belligerent bully may tell them, an ignorant teacher may tell them, a controlling boyfriend may tell them or a brain washing cult may deceive them.
When I make content, people, diversity and social change will always be at the heart because I am blessed to be in a position where I have the privilege to pitch inclusive idea's that speak up for people who are misunderstood and misjudged in the name of BBC .
Words cannot express how truly thankful I am to everyone on who has shouted about, supported, retweeted, liked or shared anything to do with 'Let's Talk About'. I hope and pray that this is only the beginning of re-shaping how Black fathers are portrayed in the media and that this Black history month little black girls everywhere are encouraged to love themselves for who they truly are!
Tee Cee x
Let's Talk About Hair
Let's Talk About Family and Food
Let's Talk About Black History
Thank you Twitter!
And thank you Sanaa Lathan for the heart of acknowledgement!
I know y'all were waiting for receipts LOL!