Writing for reaction, with Natalie Morris

Things we talked about:

  • The difference between writing as a journalist and writing a book (it’s just so long!)
  • But: you only get to publish your first book once! Accept the nerves, and appreciate the moment
  • The ever-present contention and push-back received when one writes about race
  • Natalie’s very wise words that reaction is the point of writing - and those reactions don’t have to be positive every time
  • The value of the interviews in her book, and how she found and chose the right people to talk to
  • Some of the stories and themes that came out of the interviews that surprised her
  • The unique experiences that people of mixed race have when they walk through the world, and the impact this has on identity, parenting, privilege, and the experience of racism
  • Parenting mixed race children (avoiding “colour-blindness” and those fetishised hashtags on social media)
  • How white parents can open dialogues that empower their mixed race children to talk about racism
  • The value of social media in creating connections, sharing ideas, and giving voice to minorities who are not always heard on mainstream platforms
  • But on the flip side, the deeply disturbing fetishisation of mixed race people - particularly mixed babies - and “blackfishing” trends (changing your appearance through make-up and hair to appear as though you have black heritage)
  • And Natalie’s rallying call to allies: “We need you to still care. We need that energy you had in the summer.”

Where to find Natalie online:

Where to find Sara: