Like millions of others all over the world I was upset and angry to witness George Floyd, an unarmed black man, die in the US as a white police officer knelt on his neck. Although not the first of such callous killings, it is sadly not the last but that video footage has triggered reactions and events that others before have not. It has bought the lived reality of the dangers of being non white to a bigger audience than ever before. Maybe being part of a captive UK audience during lockdown, one that has also witnessed the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on the BAME community, made it all the more effecting and although faraway drew so many parallels to those that have died from police contact here.
I felt incredibly moved to see slaver's statues toppled but I know this is not enough. The emotions it has churned up has made a lot of white folk, like myself, look at how we can educate ourselves and our children on black history to understand systemic racism, become actively anti-racist and help dismantle unjust structures . It was to this end that I scoured the internet to find educational resources on slavery and colonialism to send to my son's teacher in request that they be used in their online learning. I am happy to say that this was taken on willingly by the school and I thought it might be useful to some of you as well.
Educational resources and teaching must of course be age appropriate and as you know your own child you will know what is suitable for them. It is not an easy or light subject to tackle, but it is time now to be honest about Britain's brutal history and acknowledge how this past has benefited and repressed different groups of people.
Below are links from various sources, most of which are suitable for Key Stage 2 (Primary aged children).
A guide to colonial history of country houses guide
Colonial history of country houses resources
My personal opinion on talking about these issues with children is that it's important to make it clear that although this is 'history', racial prejudice and brutality are still happening now. From a fashion perspective too slavery has not ended and 'fast' fashion is only possible by the enslavement and subjugation of black and brown people. You can refer to some of my previous blog posts on this subject area below:
Join the Fashion Revolution
Wake up to Child Labour
Who made my Jeans Pt1
Who made my jeans Pt2
This is why we make ethically in Britain, so you can trust that no slave or child labour has been used to make our products.
The boy wonder and I stand in solidarity with all BAME communities to say that 'black lives matter' and we will work together towards a more just and more equal world.
Please see our equality and diversity policy here.
Well, what a very strange few months it has been.
My son and I have been isolated for 4 months now, which has had it's ups and downs! I spent a lot of time wondering if the business would survive and trying to think of ways I might pivot it if I needed too. Back in march our new printers had had all their orders cancelled by other customers and had to close during lockdown. Without this specialist part of my supply chain the Boy Wonder brand would not survive. Thankfully they are getting up and running again, so we can continue with production. However, in the longer term, when the government furlough scheme ends and the recession deepens I don't know how long they (and therefore we) will be able to continue. Sadly, I have not been eligible for any business grants or funding during this crisis.
I am also having to consider realistically how much work I can do now due to home schooling my son. As a widowed parent it was always a struggle to juggle work and home life, but now it's near impossible. This crisis has also made me reflect on what is important too. I realise I am no longer willing to work such long hours and miss out on quality time with him anymore. So the sensible option seems to be to focus on getting the production run done and the pre-orders out to my Kickstarter backers. Then, giving myself more time than previously planned, get the retail website made up in order to sell the rest of the stock from the production run. I will need to reduce my marketing output though which was what I spent most of my time working on. This means the newsletter will now become bi-monthly and blog posts monthly or so.
Thank you for sticking with us through this difficult time. I realise many of you, like myself, will be re-evaluating non-essential purchases such as fashion now due to financial reasons or simply as they don't seem so important anymore. However, I would hope that if you do need to buy kids clothes you will still consider Boy Wonder, for our ethical and sustainable standards, but also our fun designs.
I hope you have all managed to stay safe and well.
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