Michaela Makusha

20, Philosophy and Politics at Durham and student writer.

About Me

I am a student and freelance writer based in Durham and Birmingham. My interests are in social and political philosophy and writing about race, gender and society.

My Latest Work

Why Celebrating Jubilee Weekend As A Second-Gen Immigrant Feels Wrong

It’s Platinum Jubilee weekend in the UK, marking the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's ascension to the throne. But of course, in the UK you’d be more than aware. Nationwide, the red, white and blue bunting are up, and the trifles are setting in the bespoke Jubilee fridges. Corgi cupcakes and coronation chicken sandwiches are flying off the shelves and people are camped outside of Buckingham Palace to catch a glimpse of the woman herself. I can understand the excitement; a four day bank h

Book Review: Daisy Jones and The Six - Beep

Daisy Jones and The Six is the story of fictional musicians in the seventies. And I very much recommend this book to anyone in a slump or wanting to procrastinate before exams (like me!) Written in interview snippets we, learn the ups and downs, the good and bad of how the band was formed. There is realism in the details that make you believe you are reading about a real band. I had never read a book in this style before. But the way Taylor Jenkins Reid writes it gives it the feel of watching a

The Side Lining of Women of Colour in the Labour Party - Beep

The Labour Party has always prided itself on its diversity and its commitment to liberalism and social justice. But recently, I have noticed that women of colour within the Party – many of whom are the reason for Labour’s popularity – have been sidelined. And the issues pertaining to ethnic minority women are all but ignored. Diane Abbott was the first black female MP. She has fought everyone – even her own Party – to get to where she is now. She is also the most abused MP in Westminster. But

The Royal Tour That Went Wrong - Beep

Royal Tours are usually done to show the monarchy in their element – shaking hands, doing fun little stunts so we can see they are human and giving speeches to uplift a cause. But the Caribbean Tour, to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee was, to put it lightly, a disaster. It was already known that before and after the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, commonwealth countries were openly discussing the possibility of becoming republics, as well as the memories of Meghan and Harry’s alleg

Representation in Period Dramas

Bridgerton season two is here and the period drama has received wide praise yet again. But what really excited many about this season is the introduction of the Sharmas – Kathani ‘Kate’ Sharma, her younger sister Edwina Sharma and Mary Sharma. It was exciting for many to see the details of Indian culture – from a tel malish massage to the use of Hindi terminology, an orchestral version of the Kabhi Kushi Khabi Gham soundtrack and bright colours that suit their complexions with patterns reflect

International Women's Day 2022: Breaking the Bias - Beep

This year’s International Women’s Day was focussed on breaking the gender bias. The organisers called on us all to imagine a world free of prejudice. A world that is free of biases, stereotypes and discrimination against women. The UN’s theme is gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow, focusing on advancing gender equality in the context of the global climate crisis. Recommended Reading: She Was Just… The Problem with the Phrase “Continuing to examine the opportunities, as well as t

The Ukraine Invasion and Racism in Europe - Beep

We are six days into the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. While a lot of effort is being made to help Ukraine – from economic sanctions to aid – some efforts have been rather unhelpful. The British Home Office is not waiving visa requirements for all Ukrainians fleeing the conflict, which isn’t surprising. But they did light up London monuments in blue and yellow, so… solidarity? I suppose the current Home Office only know how to block and deny visas. But what has also been scary to see is raci

TV Review: Netflix's 'The Tinder Swindler' - Beep

I love a good Netflix documentary – true crime is a guilty pleasure and this one will have you yelling at the screen. The Tinder Swindler tells the story of Shimon Hayut, who used the name, Simon Leviev, a conman who seduced women on Tinder and conned them out of hundreds of thousands of pounds. He posed as a billionaire diamond dealer’s son, enticed women on the dating app across Europe, and eventually manipulated them into giving him money, sinking these women into huge debts. We are told h

University and Sexual Harassment - Beep

This week in the beautiful town of Cambridge, Massachusetts, an ugly yet familiar tale of abuse in universities emerged. Three Harvard graduates are suing the university for allegedly ignoring the sexual harassment of students by a professor who they said threatened their academic careers if they reported him. The professor, John Comaroff, was sanctioned by the university after being found to have broken the school’s sexual harassment guidelines. 38 members of his faculty signed this letter, s

Featured Articles and Editorials

The Side Lining of Women of Colour in the Labour Party - Beep

The Labour Party has always prided itself on its diversity and its commitment to liberalism and social justice. But recently, I have noticed that women of colour within the Party – many of whom are the reason for Labour’s popularity – have been sidelined. And the issues pertaining to ethnic minority women are all but ignored. Diane Abbott was the first black female MP. She has fought everyone – even her own Party – to get to where she is now. She is also the most abused MP in Westminster. But

The Royal Tour That Went Wrong - Beep

Royal Tours are usually done to show the monarchy in their element – shaking hands, doing fun little stunts so we can see they are human and giving speeches to uplift a cause. But the Caribbean Tour, to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee was, to put it lightly, a disaster. It was already known that before and after the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, commonwealth countries were openly discussing the possibility of becoming republics, as well as the memories of Meghan and Harry’s alleg

Dear Black Women

Thank you for paving the way for me to be able to sit at this university and write this letter to you all. Our mothers, grandmothers and aunties are the very backbones of revolutions that look for equality for all. To our aunties and mothers who are still fighting for change, thank you. To Baroness Lawrence, whose son Stephen was taken away too soon, and who used that to fuel a movement exposing the systemic racism of the police force. To Diane Abbott, who fought her own party to get elected.

TV is the new Conservative Party battleground - Beep

The Secretary of State for Media and Data John Whittingdale has thrown out another dog whistle in the Conservative Party’s culture war. He is helping draw up plans which will see the UK’s public service broadcasters have a legal requirement to produce “distinctively British” programmes. Mr Whittingdale admitted that Britishness is a “difficult concept to measure. We will talk to Ofcom about how to make the obligation of Britishness work.” Slightly Orwellian if you ask me. Examples of ‘Britis

Blackfishing and Bullying: The Jesy Nelson Drama - Beep

Last Friday, Jesy Nelson, formerly of Little Mix, dropped her first solo single Bad Boyz. In the song, she sings about how she likes her boys “so hood, so good, so damn taboo”, like her exes aren’t Coleen Nolan’s son and a guy from Love Island. The video wasn’t groundbreaking. It pushed the usual negative stereotypes about black men being ‘bad boys’ and gangsters for her own advantage. The usual thing you see when white female artists are trying to reinvent themselves. What was absolutely hila

Five black women who shaped Britain - Beep

Black women have been shaping Britain for years, but have often been overlooked and ignored due to racism and sexism. Here are five black women who have made history and tried to change Britain for the better. A true trailblazer of British politics. Abbott was the first black female MP, elected in 1987 for Hackney. This was despite the local Labour and Conservative parties making it difficult for her. She recalled local white volunteers wouldn’t work for her, so Jeremy Corbyn sent his staff fr

Novak Djokovic v. The Australian Government - Beep

It has been an interesting few weeks for tennis’ world No1, Novak Djokovic. Usually, we would be discussing the odds of him winning the Australian Open. But now we’re discussing if he will be even allowed to compete. Bear with me, it’s a long story with a lot of twists and turns. Last week, he had his visa revoked by the Australian government. Djokovic was held in Melbourne airport for several hours before border officials announced he had not met entry rules. Australia has a strict vaccinatio

The Police's Problem with Violence Against Women - Beep

After the murder of Sarah Everard, the police are attempting to step up how they deal with sexual violence and domestic abuse. The domestic abuse commissioner for England and Wales has written to Home Secretary Priti Patel, calling for changes to the government’s flagship Policing Bill to help protect victims of domestic abuse. The proposed legislation places a duty on local authorities, police, and other agencies to tackle “serious violence” in their areas. But when defining what this means,

Right-wing terrorism can't be stopped by reading - Beep

Usually, when terrorists are caught, they are sentenced to long periods in prison with the aim of punishing them for their crimes. A judge, however, decided on a different sentence for a particular terrorist. A neo-Nazi, Ben John, former Leicester De Monfort student, was found guilty of possessing information likely to be useful for preparing an act of terror. The court heard that the conviction had a maximum jail sentence of 15 years. John was identified as a terror risk after he turned 18 a

James McAvoy: Top Five Acting Performances - Beep

James McAvoy is a brilliant Scottish actor who has appeared in numerous movies, TV shows, and theatre productions. He does great accents and has shown impressive range as an actor. He is also very nice to look at. This combination means that I have paid extensive attention to his work and have listed five of my favourite performances by him. One of the only films to make me cry, James McAvoy’s performance of Robbie and his relationship with Keira Knightly’s Cecilia will break your heart. Plus,

Academic Work

Power to Some of the People: Patriarchy Within Black Activist Movements

Black women have been publicly working for racial justice in the United States for centuries. However, there has always been a focus on black men and their struggles in activist movements, and little focus on the racism and sexism, black women face from outside and within the black community. In this essay, I will examine the patriarchal nature of black activist groups and the sexism black women have faced within these groups and movements. From this, I will look at how it has informed activism, or rather who is seen to matter more in black activism. I will be looking at the Black Panther Party along with the modern Black Lives Matter movement in terms of how these movements have ignored black women.

Religion and Decline of the Absolutism – The Stuarts

1625 doesn’t sound like a significant year in history, but in fact it is the start of a century of rebellions and revolutions that shaped the political system we have in Britain today. This is because in1625 Charles I married a Catholic, kicking off a fight against absolutism in Britain. Religion wasn’t of course the only reason but a key and perhaps the most important reason the country transitioned from an absolute to a constitutional monarchy. The Stuart dynasty had always been Catholic –

The Forgotten Medici

The Medici were one of the most infamous families in Italian and Renaissance history, a family of bankers who rose to rule Florence. They became patrons of the arts, backing the likes of Da Vinci and Galileo and produced four popes and two queens of France. However, there is one member of the family who has been erased from history and has only recently been more widely spoken about in historical and media circles. Alessandro de’ Medici was the only recognised illegitimate son of Lorenzo II de

Lucrezia Borgia - the Scandal of Rome?

Victors, mainly consisting of men, write history. Because of this, women have gone both under-represented and misrepresented. They are either subordinate pawns or go above their station for acting as their male counterparts. An example of such would be Lucrezia Borgia. Who were The Borgia? The Borgia were a Spanish-Italian dynasty prominent in political and church affairs. Much like other political dynasties of the era, they fought for power. In Italy, the ultimate power was the papacy. The fa

Reviews

Book Review: Daisy Jones and The Six - Beep

Daisy Jones and The Six is the story of fictional musicians in the seventies. And I very much recommend this book to anyone in a slump or wanting to procrastinate before exams (like me!) Written in interview snippets we, learn the ups and downs, the good and bad of how the band was formed. There is realism in the details that make you believe you are reading about a real band. I had never read a book in this style before. But the way Taylor Jenkins Reid writes it gives it the feel of watching a

Book Review: If I Ever Met You - Beep

Mhairi McFarlane’s 2020 novel If I Never Met You has been on my ‘to be read‘ list for a while – and I am so happy that I finally got around to it. The story revolves around thirty-six-year-old Laurie. She’s a lawyer, one of the best at her firm. Her partner, Dan, dumps her after eighteen years together which throws her off balance. We also have Jamie, a handsome hotshot criminal lawyer. Laurie needs vengeance. Jamie needs to shake off his reputation to make partner at the firm. Obviously, a fa

Book Review: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood - Beep

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood is the latest read from my to-be-read list that has been interrupted by my studies, but we all need a break from Plato every now and then. I didn’t know what to expect from the book. I don’t read many romantic books, but this was recommended by friends, Twitter, Pinterest and TikTok, so I had to see what the hype was about. I wasn’t disappointed. This book is so charming! Olive Smith, the protagonist is a shy, intelligent and hardworking biology PhD stu

Book Review: Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé - Beep

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé. This book was an unexpected buy, but the premise of the book had me hooked. A Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars-type thriller but with two black leads who are LGBTQ? Sign me up! In fact, the plot is so much more than I could’ve hoped for. I can see why it has sat on the New York Times Bestsellers list for weeks. The protagonists are from completely different walks of life. Devon is a talented musician from a deprived neighbourhood, at Niveous High on a sc

Is The Handmaid's Tale worth the binge-watch? - Beep

The Handmaid’s Tale is currently airing its fourth series on Channel 4. The Emmy award-winning show first aired in 2017 and has hooked audiences since. Based on the classic book by Margaret Atwood, the show looks at a dystopian, theocratic America, now called Gilead, where fertile women are forced to become ‘handmaids’ – to carry the children of high-ranking families within the new regime. The story primarily follows June, played by Elizabeth Moss, and her experiences within Gilead. We get to

Anne Boleyn: A modern interpretation for the modern era

The announcement of Jodie Turner-Smith, a black woman, as Anne Boleyn paired with the use of colour-blind casting for multiple other characters had caused controversy before the Channel 5 series had even premiered. For example, the portrayal of Archbishop Cranmer by an Asian actor, and Anne’s ladies being played by women of multiple ethnicities. Social media “historians” kindly wanted to remind everyone that Anne Boleyn was in fact white and therefore should only be played by a white actress. T

Representation in Period Dramas

Bridgerton season two is here and the period drama has received wide praise yet again. But what really excited many about this season is the introduction of the Sharmas – Kathani ‘Kate’ Sharma, her younger sister Edwina Sharma and Mary Sharma. It was exciting for many to see the details of Indian culture – from a tel malish massage to the use of Hindi terminology, an orchestral version of the Kabhi Kushi Khabi Gham soundtrack and bright colours that suit their complexions with patterns reflect

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