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Malorie Blackman’s Noughts+Crosses Sparks Conversations About Race.

Malorie Blackman’s Noughts+Crosses Sparks Conversations About Race.

Malorie Blackman

Will Malorie Blackman’s noughts+crosses open the minds of the white privileged?

On the 5th of March, a staggering 2.5 million people tuned in to watch Malorie Blackman’s Noughts + Crosses ’s novel series adaption, make its debut on BBC One. Blackman transports us to a 21st-century world where the power of races has been flipped. Albion (Europe) has been colonized by Aprica (Africa) and has been living under the rule of their oppressors for the last 700 years – Sound familiar? In this alternative world, we experience a life of hardship through the eyes of Nought – Callum (Jack Rowan) and highly-privileged Cross – Sephy (Masali Baduza). The plot follows the love story of these star-crossed lovers, living in a world where their love affair could lead to a fatal end. 

I must say, my dark humour made me smile as I watched the first episode. As a black woman who has often had to explain the effects of systematic oppression and the racial micro-aggressions, I’ve had to face every day to my white friends. Watching the close up of Callum getting a flesh-colored plaster that didn’t match his skin tone made me giggle. As this is, of course, a reality that black people living in the diaspora face every day. This mismatched plaster is just another reminder that nothing in this country is really meant for us.

The racial role-reversal makes the micro and macro aggressions apply to a group of people that in our reality, have never experienced anything like it. Where you are not the standard of beauty, where the Police are not there to protect you and your very existence is one that is unseen and ignored. 

Will noughts+crosses open the minds of the white privileged? I don’t know…but the show is available to watch on BBC iPlayer. Share your thoughts with us, I’ll be interested to see where this goes. 

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