Hello. Jambo. Hola. Guten Tag. Salut.
My name is Yeni, and I will be uncovering each session from Voltage Revolution’s The Spotify Podcast Club, from genesis to the finale for 2022. Lets get straight into it.
Race was the first session topic. Since George Floyd’s case, organisations have become more "woke" to injustice. Now topics on race have become an ever-essential dialogue amongst places of work, social spaces and more. The first session highlighted realisations of "the first time I realised I was Black" which was also the topic of discussion. The conversation invoked introspective thoughts and views for me. The first time I realised I was Black was when I was in Year 8. I lived in a town where the predominant race was white compared to Black and other ethnicities so it was evident that I was different. Yet, I wasn't aware or fazed by it. The day I realised my skin colour was different was when my other friends and I walked back home from our school football match. A white van drove past, and a person exclaimed out the van window with monkey chants and the N-word. I was shocked at what I had experienced. From then onwards, I was aware that my skin colour meant I was undervalued or seen differently by others. I later became conscious and self-aware that my skin colour can be a point of mockery by others. Although I am more self-aware of who I am now, which has made me proud and even more confident in my skin, I can see the negative impacts it had on me as a young boy.
The Black community are keen to raise cultural wars that spark tension from music to food and many other debates which always seem to be of surface-level. The important and crucial issues are left to rot sometimes. It does not tackle root cause issues within the Black community, neither does it awaken and unify us as people. From this session, I learnt that Black people are not monolithic as they are diverse and come from different backgrounds, geography, gender, and many different factors, therefore they shouldn't be bottled by their skin colour.
The second session was on mental health and everything around that dialogue. Mental health is an issue that is prominent within the black community yet very taboo to speak on. In the UK, most Black Millennials and Gen Z are second generation immigrants. This causes a barrier that is hard to break through and many find it hard to speak to their parents about their mental health. This is due to their upbringing and cultural traditions which taught them to be thick skinned and ignore their problems and issues and leave it to God.
Azryah Harvey,a presenter and writer was the guest on the second podcast episode,“Emotional Regulation: is it my ADHD?” Azryah reiterates the importance of getting a checkup if you experience ADHD-like symptoms although institutions deem ADHD mostly persists in children. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopment condition that includes symptoms such as being restless and having trouble concentrating. Symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder include a short attention span, constantly fidgeting and acting without thinking.
Bearing these symptoms in mind, without awareness of this condition, parents may tend to think their child is rebellious which in turn can cause a child to follow a self-fulfilling prophecy of being a "nuisance" or a “rebellion”.
The discussion during this session helped me realise the importance of not neglecting your mental health, as whatever is on your mind will reveal itself through your body (through body language, speech, etc.). It was a session that touched home for me. As an individual deemed as SEN (Special Education Needs), I saw first-hand the outrage of my parents to remove me from such labelling. In the global pandemic, many suffered mentally causing a spike in depression and anxiety which emphasised the importance of the awareness of mental health especially withing the Black community.
The final podcast club session was about motivation. Motivation resonates with many young people of today. Motivation is derived from the word 'motive', which denotes a person's needs, desires, wants, or urges. Over time, motivation has initiated, guided and helped many to fulfil their goals and dreams faster than in previous centuries. A key point I gained from the session was that knowing your what and why is essential. Once you know what you want for your life, you can apply your reasoning to why you want to meet such a goal. The podcast "The real trick of long-term motivation" highlighted that delayed gratification is vital as it allows an individual to focus on where you are and how you can set measurable steps to progress to the next level.
Overall, each session felt very personalised to my needs and wants as it touched on crucial conversations I am constantly battling in my head. Therefore, it was helpful to be able to have those conversations with people like me rather than alone. I would definitely recommend joining The Spotify Podcast Club as it has added so much value to my day-to-day and I have been able to connect and meet such amazing people through the process.
If you are interested in joining or even enquiring more about Voltage Revolution, please reach out to [email protected].
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