Racism often lands at your feet when you are unprepared. This column has allowed me to bring my best self to your questions

Sisonke Msimang | December 7, 2023

“This column has allowed me to think about pressing issues without caving into the tyranny of the urgent”, says Sisonke Msimang, 2014 New Voices Fellow, in her last Ms Understanding column for the Guardian.

Sisonke, in this final piece, shares her learnings and her reflections on writing this advice column. She specifically notes leaning into the unique format of the column that allowed her to move at a slower pace than most are typically afforded when faced with racism. “In real life, racism often lands at your feet when you are unprepared; before you have the time to collect your thoughts. This advice column has provided me with a medium that has allowed me to bring my best self to the questions of others”, she further adds.

Through Ms Understanding Sisonke has created a space that is fully focused on the experiences of people of color – who everyday are grappling with the effects of racism. Ultimately, this experience, she hopes has allowed each of us to do what Alice Walker calls us to do which is to “look closely at the present you are constructing: it should look like the future you are dreaming”.


To read Sisonke’s final Ms Understanding piece click below.