Posted on December 14th 2021
Author and Historian Blair Imani Inspires HAB Girls
Kandia, Year 12, reports on an inspiring visit to Harris Academy Bermondsey by author and historian Blair Imani.
Blair Imani is an author and a historian. Previously, she used the title 'activist', but she explained that her current line of work is less oriented towards activism and more so towards education.
She identifies as black, bisexual, queer, and Muslim. Due to her position at an intersection of several communities Blair centres her work primarily around illuminating the stories of marginalised identities.
She also creates a series of videos on Instagram called 'Smarter in Seconds', geared towards educating viewers about internet safety, cultural appropriation, gender identity and much more in quick, fun, colourful and digestible videos.
While on her visit at HAB, Blair spoke to students in Year 12 and Year 10. Her presentations detailed the importance of intersectionality – a term coined by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw in 1989 about how aspects of a person’s identity means that a person can be privileged and oppressed at the same time. For example, a gay black man in our society would be marginalised due to is gayness and blackness. However, he will still benefit from male privilege.
Blair Imani spoke about the importance of intersectionality when addressing social issues – it is vital to recognise different forms of discrimination and privilege as well as their effect on a population.
Alongside her enriching talks with students, Blair Imani gifted ten copies of both Read This To Get Smarter and Modern HERstory. In Read This To Get Smarter, Imani examines ‘race, class, gender, disability and more’ and encourages the reader to expand their social consciousness and knowledge to become a well-informed individual.
With Modern HERstory, Blair Imani celebrates the legacies of 70 women, girls and non-binary people who have shaped the world. These books are currently available at the HAB library!
The students at HAB described Blair’s talk as amazing and inspiring. One student took to social media and wrote, "I never believed there were black LGBTQ+ people who strutted freely and confidently as you. Your confidence gives me hope."
We cannot wait to see Blair again!
Kandia, Year 12
I never believed there were black LGBTQ+ people who strutted freely and confidently as you. Your confidence gives me hope."