Black History Month – The Women of the Mangrove 9

“We, the Black People of London have called this demonstration in protest against constant police harrassment which is being carried out against us, and which is condoned by the legal system.

In particular, we are calling for an end to the persecution of the Mangrove Restaurant of 8 All Saints Road, W.1.1., a Restaurant that serves the Black Community.”

The Mangrove was a restaurant that opened in Notting Hill, quickly becoming a hub for the West Indian community. The police repeatedly raided the space, claiming it was a drug den in spire of never finding drugs. In 1970, the Action Committee for the Defence of the Mangrove, and the Black Panthers, organised a march: “Hands Off the Mangrove.” There were 700 police available for 150 protesters, and after the police initiated violent clashes, many people were arrested. 9 black activists were taken to trial for incitement to riot. This was the opportunity for the police, Special Branch and the Home Office to discredit the growing Black Power movement.

Jones-Lecointe, alongside Darcus Howe, argued her own defence, arguing for an all-black jury based on Magna Carta rights. In her closing speech, she spoke in detail of the police persecution of black people in Notting Hill.

Barbara Beese approached a radical lawyer, who represented her and mediated with those defending themselves so they would present a united front.

After a 55 day trial, all were acquitted of the riot charges. The judge commented on the “evidence of racial hatred” in the Metropolitan Police. The Met Commissioner requested that this comment be retracted. It was not.

Interview Tips

Interview tipsTo be fair, with the job I finally got (which is pretty great, thanks for asking), the interview wasn’t much like this, which might be why I finally got myself a position.

In any case, the following still stands:

Interviews are total bullshit. Having had seven before I landed myself a job (if I look so good on paper, and in the knowledge of my high levels of capability, what exactly changes when I turn up and have an actual conversation with real people?), I feel like I can attest to this from recent experience.

If you’ve actually managed to claw yourself to an interview in this brutal economic context, congratulations. It’s worth noting that your success thus far probably has something to do with privilege. Your success from here *definitely* has to do with privilege.

Your success in an interview relies on your ability to take up space in a confident way and to frame your experiences in ways which commodify them and you so as to make your labour more marketable than everyone else’s.

To put it bluntly, in general, interview processes privilege straight, white middle class cis men.

You can *learn* how to perform in an interview, but the privileged have access to this training throughout their whole lives.

Moreover, interviews test how good you are at answering questions under pressure. Which would be a great gauge of whether you’ll be good at a job if your job is answering questions under pressure. If your job will not primarily involve answering questions under pressure, in the best light it’s not a great measure, and in a less generous light it’s another of the multitude of ways of funnelling the privilieged into spaces they already believe they should occupy.

Fuck interviews.