Learn what it feels like to be black in Ireland

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Learn from people who know what it’s like to experience racism, and learn how to use your own voice to help

This week we shared this post about how you can support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement by donating to organisations and educating yourself. Here, we wanted to highlight some people to follow who are bringing that message home to Irish people, many of whom until now have underestimated and ignored the issue of racism in Ireland. From organisations doing impactful work to end structural racism, to Irish creatives who share their experiences of racism in their work, follow these accounts to ensure your timeline contains diverse voices with authority on this topic.

Voices to listen to:

Black Pride Ireland

This group is a movement for black LGBTQIA* people in Ireland. Ahead of the next BLM protest on 6 June, they are sharing safety measures in light of Covid-19 concerns.

Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland

MASI is a grassroots asylum seeker movement, advocating for the rights of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers. For example they are focused on education, right to work, no deportations and complete abolition of direct provision.

Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi

Writer and editor Ciamaka Enyi-Amadi is a powerful voice in Irish writing and media. Her recent posts on Instagram stories capture how emotionally draining and triggering the current situation is. She is currently curating Girl At Ease, a new Irish online space for black voices, that will share poetry, prose and photography to encourage healing, rest and hope.

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our community can heal 🖤 this is a time of crisis: political crisis, global health crisis and economic crisis. we are fighting for justice. _ we @unimaginable_me & @i_hu_nanya have created this space to actively centre our narratives as young Black women living in Ireland. Our work emphasizes healing, resting and dreaming through poetry, prose and photography. _ healing is not linear or individualistic (a capitalist myth used to sell self-help products). it begins with a sustained commitment to good therapy, art, literature, faith, friendships and family. we can now begin to share our healing process through our experience with all of the above. _ this is our complex messy negotiations with our own internalizations of anti-black, misogynistic, homophobic and western religious values. How will we heal from this crisis collectively? _ this is our journey towards being #atease mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually 🌿 ________________________ ⁣ #blacklivesmatter #amplifymelanatedvoices #pride #solidarity #lgbtq #justiceforgeorgefloyd #justiceforahmaud #justiceforbreonnataylor #justicefortina __________________________ #atease #community #healing #mindfulness #wellness #Irish #covid19ireland #stayhome ________________________ ⁣ #bevisuallyinspired #visualgang #justgoshoot #agameoftones #artofvisuals #naturalhair #pursuitofportraits #ourportraitsdays #afropunk #earth_portraits #discoverportrait ________________________ ⁣ @discoverdublin @igersdublin @lovindublin @discover_templebar @failte_ireland_ @dublinlive_ @visitdublin @dublinsocial @itssodublin @sharedireland @poetryireland @creativeireland @artscouncilireland @thejournal_ie @district.magazine @totallydublin @newstalkfm @rte_culture

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Emma Dabiri

Academic and author of Don’t Touch My Hair, Emma Dabiri has done amazing work creating resources to re-educate people about race.

Erica Cody

Singer Erica spoke to the The Six O’Clock Show about her experience of racism in Ireland (watch it here), and she has been active online to raise awareness of the issue on our own doorstep. She shared this graphic by @keane.ryan which highlights violence and discrimination against black people in Ireland.


Loah, the Irish/Sierra Leonean singer songwriter, took to her Instagram to emphasise that what is happening now isn’t an American problem alone, and that racism is real and present in Ireland too. She explains the hurt that is caused by perpetuating the idea that ignorance can explain away racist behaviour.

Modern Problem

This new podcast by Irish journalist Jane McNamara looks at new incarnations of old problems. Episodes 1 and 2 delve into the Irish Direct Provision System. Find them here.

United Ireland

The podcast by Una Mullally and Andrea Horan delved into the devastating reality of the Direct Provision system. Episode 5: What happens to people who die in Direct Provision looks at the death of Sylva Tukula, a transgender woman buried in Galway without ceremony, after being houses in an all-male Direct Provision centre. Ellie Kisyombe lived through the Direct Provision system and on the podcast she shares what it is like to live in those circumstances.

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This episode was not easy to record. And it won’t be easy to listen to, but it is essential listening. Direct Provision will be the stain on our generation’s existence. It feels like we all know this. We all talk about this. But when talk feels empty, how do we change a broken system? Sylva Tukula was a transgender woman buried in Galway without ceremony after being housed in an all-male direct provision centre. Her personhood was removed in death as it was when she was alive. She deserved more. @EllieKisyombe who has been living in Direct Provision for 8 years joins us in studio to share what it feels like to live like this. To have your personhood removed. We talk to Dr Maeve O’Rourke, a lecturer in the Irish Centre for Human Rights in NUIG and who has done a lot of work on the culture of institutionalisation in Ireland. We also bring you some joy. @nicolacoughlan is not in fact our Derry rep as you would think as the gas bitch from Derry Girls, she’s from Galway and she shares with us all the things she loves about Galway. We talk about the week in review, all our fave things and of course end with a Tuna Chicken Roll.

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Use your voice to call for action

Journalist Brian O’Flynn shared a template letter that people can use to contact their local TD asking them to take a stand against racism in Ireland. Read the letter template in full here.

In this article, we share ways you can donate to and support the Black Lives Matter movement in the US and here in Ireland, and some helpful resources to educate yourself.

If you still find yourself thinking ‘why am I only being made aware of this now’, The Daily Show’s host Trevor Noah shared a powerful video that explains how all the events in the news cycle recently are connected, and cannot be looked at in isolation.

Main image by: Derick McKinney on Unsplash