Psychology Now 3: The Psychology of Racism

At the end of last year, I got involved with a Psychology Now bookazine being produced by Future Bookazines (who I’d worked with previously on Black Icons) and edited by Sarah Bankes.

Future make regular bookazines on all sorts of subjects, including history, science, lifestyle and travel. This is the third volume of Psychology Now, and I first got involved to write an article about the psychology of racism. This is a subject area that interests me greatly as I find knowledge and understanding great motivators for change. I have found psychology – attending courses, reading books and working with psychotherapists – extremely beneficial in understanding the effects that racism has had (and continues to have) on my health, as well as the effects it has on my relationships, interactions and on society as a whole.

As I began to plan the article, I realised I knew someone who would be the perfect interviewee – Dr Keon West. I met Keon a few years ago, as we both posed for a photo with the handful of black people that attended Brighton Naked Bike Ride in 2018! Keon is a Reader in Social Psychology at Goldsmiths and has received numerous awards for his research, teaching and social activism. He’s most well known for his research on prejudice, sexual orientation, sexual health and being naked. He had a Channel 4 show called Naked Beach and also a really interesting and informative Radio 4 show called ‘I Can’t Be Racist’ where he talks about both conscious and unconscious bias, drawing on the latest psychological and sociological research and talking to other experts.

The whole article was really interesting to research and write and I’m really pleased with the finished spread. The magazine is also chock-a-block full of articles on other interesting topics – such as jealousy, anticipation, false memories and ‘inside the mind of anti-vaxxers’. Thank you Sarah Bankes for commissioning me and being great to work with!

Throughout the 3 double-page spread, I speak about what racism is (including breaking down some psychological theories), the psychological effects it has, the shame-fuelled resistance we can feel if we’re called out for racist actions, and steps we can take to change mindsets. All enhanced with quotes from my chat with Dr West throughout, and a few tips from Brené Brown in there too.

You can get a copy of Psychology Now 3 from magazinesdirect.com or WH Smith (also Tesco and Asda). It is OUT NOW!

In the magazine, the article is also followed by an exclusive interview with Kelle Bryan – singer (Eternal!), actor, panellist and CEO – talking to Sarah Bankes about her experiences of racism.

And here’s my article!

(click on the image below to be taken to full article)

I’d love to hear what you think in the comments.. and if you’d like to share on social media too – even better! My hope that this is a helpful article for everyone, and that it helps to stimulate growth and change. We really need it.

Thank you!

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