“Black Don’t Crack In More Ways Than One”: Introducing Unbothered UK

Designed by Refinery29 UK
Whenever I think about black women, I feel so connected – not just to a community but to a movement that I’m so incredibly proud of.
I asked the black women of Refinery29 UK what it is about our community that brings them joy, and the force of our collective affirmation was overwhelming. "Black don’t crack in more ways than one. We are timeless, strong, we will never be beaten down." "We are game-changers." "Changemakers." "Powerful." "Beautiful." "We’re actually just so bomb."
There’s a magic that unites us and it’s fuelled by an inherent love. That’s what you’ll find right here. Unbothered is Refinery29’s celebration of black women. If you already follow the Instagram account, you’ll be familiar with the elation that comes from this space where black women feel seen in a world that so often erases us. Following the lead of our sisters who built this gorgeous community in the States, we’re bringing Unbothered to the UK to celebrate the strength, power and beauty of black women here in Britain.

The thing I love about the black community is that we can say so much without saying a word. There is an instant connection, understanding, empathy and vibe. Everything we do is in furtherance of our culture.

Effy okogba
Ladies. We see you and we've got you. Our culture is rich and we are impactful. Few of us need reminding, though, that this truth doesn’t always translate to how we are (and aren’t) represented in the wider world. Basking in the success of the black British women who are slaying the game also comes with the bitter acknowledgement that there are systemic forces at play which continue to erase our contributions.
Just look at the BAFTA Awards. It’s the big old year of 2020 and the world has never been so eager to shout about diversity. Nevertheless, the UK’s most distinguished film academy has failed to recognise a single actor of colour in its awards. The level of absurdity is hard to put into words; even more so when you do a quick sweep of some of the most incredible films that have hit cinemas in the last year. Insert clap emoji here for: Harriet, Queen & Slim, Us, Atlantics, Blue Story, Clemence, Waves, The Last Black Man In San Francisco, Dolemite Is My Name and Just Mercy.
Black female voices aren't breaking through doors against which white male gatekeepers are stubbornly leaning. We're surrounded by black actresses whose dues are yet to be paid. The powers that be continue to sleep on black British actresses, despite the shit-hot performances we've seen from them. If academies like BAFTA aren’t willing to celebrate them, then we will. We're awake to their agency, friends, and we’re using the first week of Unbothered UK, in the lead up to the ceremony, to spotlight some of these incredible women.

Everything we do, we do it with SAUCE that is undefeated.

Jessica morgan
Allow me to introduce you to Don't Sleep On Them, our weeklong series showing love to our homegrown talent and shining the spotlight on women whose names deserve to be heard in this period of awards season madness. From the actress who jumped from Rising Star nominee to Oscar contender within a year, to the lead actress in 2020's most overlooked film about black love and black pain. We're going to tell you about the black British actresses to watch out for this year and the familiar faces you'd better be damn sure not to forget.
Settle in, because this is only the beginning. Over the coming months, we'll be expanding our presence and we'll be doing it with you in mind. We're celebrating black voices! Black talent! Black business! Black art! Black just about everything! This space is ours to claim and we're going to help you take it. Here is where we'll make sure black women are seen, heard and celebrated. Welcome home, sis. And welcome to the launch of Unbothered UK.
We want to know what's important to you! If you are a black woman, please take 3 minutes to complete our survey and help us shape what you'll see on Unbothered UK.

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