Racism – Long History of Black People in Ireland by Jess Majekodunmi

Posted by Timige, On 1 Dec, 2021 | Updated On 1 Dec, 2021 No Comments »

Jess Majekodunmi, an Irish Nigerian, shares her thoughts and experiences as part of 100 Voices again racism in Ireland. #AllAgainstRacism.

Jess Majekodunmi – an Irish Nigerian, design historian & innovation designer, co-founder of Beyond Representation, share her thought and speaks against racism in Ireland.

There’s a really long history of Black people in Ireland. Some think that Black people only turned up in 1990. My first Nigerian cousins who moved to Ireland came in the 1930s to study. The numbers increased more recently, but there is a long history in Ireland, and we forget that.

I’m not an expert in diversity and inclusion. I haven’t studied it. There are some people who have PhDs in it, who are really informed about the history of it, and the different initiatives. And yet, I get asked a lot to speak about diversity and inclusion. I’m happy to do so, but there’s only one reason I get asked to do that, and that’s the colour of my skin. So I’ve had to become informed about it, and that has driven a lot of the different things I do in that area of my work.

With Beyond Representation, we wanted a space to connect with other women of colour, who were doing similar things. Often we find ourselves isolated in company, so it’s really nice to expand our network, and get together.

Years ago, I was working in advertising and I did a rant about representation in the advertising industry. The video is somewhere on Vimeo, called ‘Time To Represent’. At the time, if you looked at the adverts that were on Irish television, you’d swear there wasn’t a single Black person in the entire country, or anyone of colour. Things like that have changed. There’s more representation in the media, in arts and in culture, but I still think there is so much more to do.

I’ve seen a change in ten years, and I’m looking forward to more of a change over the next ten years.

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