There’s a ‘Just So Story’ about how the rhino got such folded, wrinkly skin.
Rhino is a grumpy creature with tight grey skin who steals a man’s cake and eats it all. One day, rhino goes for a swim in the sea. Rhino’s skin is left folded on the shore. The man, in revenge for the cake theft, rubs crumbs into rhino’s skin: all over.
Rhino gets out, slips the skin back on, and feels an itch. It’s unbearable. Rhino runs to a nearby tree. The bark rubs up and down on rhino’s skin making it rumple and fold up.
This is how rhinos got folded, wrinkly skin (and why they are always in a bad mood).
Why am I telling you this story? Because this is what pronouns feel like to me. Society keeps rubbing them in: all over.
But why should I get my gender all rucked up round my shoulders? Maybe it could give me thicker skin eventually, but really I’d rather just stay out in the sea.
A group of teenagers were exploring “Why do the police treat us differently?”, and someone pointed out that there haven’t always been police. This prompted me to investigate the establishment of the London Metropolitan police, which led me to this comic:
Olive Morris was an anti-racist, anti-imperialist activist, community organiser and squatter. She was a member of the Black Panthers and co-founded the Organisation for Women of Asian and African Descent with Stella Dadzie.
She was tireless, helping to set up multiple other collectives and organisations, including the Manchester Black Women’s Cooperative, Manchester Black Women’s Mutual Aid Group, Brixton Black Women’s Group and the Brixton Law Centre.
Morris died of Hodgkins Lymphoma at the age of 27.
The Remembering Olive Morris Collective was established in 2008 to document and make public her story.
Verna Wilkins is the multi-award-winning author of over 50 picture books and biographies for young people, which have featured on the National Curriculum and BBC children’s television.
Wilkins is the founder of Tamarind Books, launched in 1987 after her 5-year-old son came home with a ‘This is Me’ book in which he was coloured in pink. He refused when Wilkins offered him a brown crayon, saying it had to be pink because it was for a book.
Wilkins ran Tamarind Books for 23 years, championing diversity in children’s publishing. It is now an imprint of Random House UK.
Wilkins now runs inclusive programmes in schools across the UK.
comics, illustrations, political commentary. drawnoutthinking[at]gmail.com