After the massive upheaval of an international move, we found ourselves settling in the beautiful city of Bath. This was much to my surprise, as Bath whilst a lovely city to visit, had never seemed like a place I could see our family settling down. We were conscious of the lack of diversity and as an interracial couple with 2 mixed race children we felt, initially that Bristol would be a better fit for us. However, circumstances led us to Bath, which very quickly charmed and surprised us.
Moving countries had been really hard and I spent much of 2019 struggling with depression. Part of my journey out of that was realising just how important meaningful human connection is for my mental health and accepting just how hard it had been to leave close friends behind and start over again. I had consciously decided to really work on building deeper connections when the Covid19 Pandemic hit. It was a very challenging time, in a relatively new city, one that was not quite yet ‘home’.
During the months of lockdown in Bath I was certainly grateful to be in such a beautiful area with green spaces and mind clearing walks easily accessible, but I still didn’t see much of myself in the city or feel any real connection.
The murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor shook my system so very deeply. As a black British woman, I had never experienced anything as emotionally traumatic in my lifetime. The global protests that followed, whilst crucial were also really triggering. Living in Bath, I felt very visible and not certain of how things would pan out here.
Then the people of Bath joined their voices. I was truly inspired and felt so supported by the number of people who attended the Black Lives Matter peaceful protest in Green Park. I felt real support from people of all ages and races for the BLM cause. I also had never felt so vulnerable. The far right were angry and emboldened. It was a very scary time.
There is plenty of work to do, but I am encouraged by the support I have witnessed here in Bath for equality and racial justice. I’d like to see more opportunities for sharing, connecting and celebrating diversity and I would love it if Bath could build on what started in Green Park this summer with an annual event along the lines of Pride. It’s so important to create opportunities where we can celebrate our differences and share our humanity. How powerful would it be to have a positive celebration of diversity, here in the beautiful city of Bath!