iamthenublack: Nichole Black

Introduce yourself

I am Nichole Black. Granddaughter to Jamaican migrants, London lover, some days blue, everyday a writer.

I started out as a writer of short stories about little white girls called Megan or Aubrey, they were always American, had pets (of which I had none) and serially unfaithful boyfriends. I was only eleven and my passion for writing had me reproducing Nickelodeon story lines. Mildred D Taylor’s Road to Memphis would later shape my consciousness and the creation of culturally relevant poems which I would go on to perform.

Years on I am a recent English Graduate and a practising Cultural Critic. I produce an online portfolio of my critical essays, which focus on different aspects of Black culture from music (Rhythm & Blues: The Good, The Bad and The Nasty) to politics (Why I’m Against Wyclef Running For Haitian Presidency). These articles are also supported by original reviews and poetry.

Writing is my vocation; I use it to exercise my commitment to the central values of Christianity: love and justice. My vision is to become an academic, activist and features journalist.

favourite lyric from a song

‘I’m a recovering undercover over lover/ recovering from a love I can’t get over’

– Erykah Badu, Out My Mind Just In Time

I’m inspired by

When I first began writing I thought of inspiration as means to my creative end, I even adopted the name Muse as a statement about my artistic process. I now understand it as an end of its own. We are designed to experience pleasure, mental, emotional, spiritual and physical; and this list covers the great range of things that inspire me from books to dresses. The art form that moves me most however, would be drama. From Grey’s Anatomy to Havana Rakatan drama and performance enthrall me.

Icons past & present

Frantz Fanon as my greatest example of ‘loving Black out loud’ (a phrase I borrow from Dr Cornel West), and Frederick Douglass whose life and writing taught me to exchange shame for the dignity that is in the slave narrative. To bell hooks whose trilogy of critical essays taught me more on love than I had thought there was to know.  Finally, Toni Morrison for writing the first novel in which I saw my own image; more than complexion and curl patterns – but the soul of a Black girl (come woman).

thenublack philosophy/mantra according to Nichole Black

‘If it’s classical, country mood, rhythm & blues, gospel, whatever it is let it be’

– Jill Scott.

Let it Be is certainly my nublack philosophy. I have spent time offending for defending Blackness. Adjusting and affirming. Questioning and concerning myself with legacies and history, learning and turning against narratives that fit too tightly. I have loved and laughed and drawn territorial lines all around me. Looking for a home my soul already knows. I’m a daughter of the African Diaspora. It’s all yours. This culture. Broad, thick and beautiful. And whatever it is, in Britain or Brazil. Let it breathe, Let it be.

Check me out