Where You From?

Where You From?

By Global

“Where you from?” I get asked this all the time, and when I reply ‘London’ they say: “No, where you really from?” What are people really asking here? And why are they asking this? Join me, Lillie Almond on my new podcast “Where you from?” to explore how this question makes people feel, what it means to them… and what people really mean when asking it. Listen and subscribe now on Global Player.


Kwajo Tweneboa: “People are dying in poor living conditions and poor housing.”

Those who use and exploit others must be held to account. I really hope that the receipts that Kwajo is airing, bring about the accountability and change that we need to see across the board. There is pride and strength in what “Where you from?” means to Kwajo - yet the concept has also seen him fight for drastic improvements to social housing. It’s cutting to hear Kwajo talk candidly about what he has seen both in his own life - and while out visiting people who are being mistreated by their housing associations. “Where you from?” isn’t solely about the location of where Kwajo grew up, or the places where he and his family have lived. And the idea of where we’re from isn’t solely about global geography, either. It’s about our background amongst other people - and how society responds to that. It’s about how society perceives that background, how it treats us as a result… and how ‘authority’ and a sense of hierarchy is built around all of this. Kwajo has witnessed first-hand, learned about, and held to account - the parts of society that are using others’ “where you from?” to their own advantage. He is addressing those who have been looking down on the people they are meant to be serving. It’s eye-opening to see Kwajo taking on the generic PR responses from some of the biggest corporations in social housing. Words are not good enough excuses anymore - they never were. So, I look forward to seeing real accountability across the sector - and across other spaces which use and abuse people because of where they are from. Let me know what you think of all of this - what stood out to you, what connected with you? I’m @lilliealmond on Twitter and @almondsweetness on Insta - see you there.
19/06/2245m 42s

White Yardie: “I never knew about racism ’til I come to England.”

Education is the top, middle and last line for Harry, aka White Yardie in this conversation. And it’s really testament to the essence of this series: intent is so important in these conversations and spaces. Offensive language and microaggressions can be both deliberate and accidental. People do make mistakes without meaning to; we’ve all done this. I feel like we can learn to forgive these, if people then aim to learn and make changes when moving forwards. Because, once we learn what is not okay - we have the option to improve for the better, if we intend to. For those who make mistakes and don’t want to make changes - or for those who are deliberately being offensive? Maybe progress isn’t so clear a path in those instances. In this chat, Harry fully unpacks what he’s learned about all of this. And of course, we also learn how he feels about the question, “Where you from?” - and what it means to him. Another theme that Harry and I chat about, is the nature of being forced to explain where you’re from: being forced to justify why you are here and how that came to be. This is so exhausting. So, it’s a shame that a part of this conversation is about as to if Harry’s been forced to convince people, when saying where he’s from; none of us should ever have to do this. Thanks for listening. Subscribe and leave a review! And let me know what you think: I’m @lilliealmond on Twitter - and on Insta, I’m @almondsweetness.
12/06/2247m 1s

Nish Kumar - "If we’re part of the conversation, what are we actually saying?"

A chat which I absolutely ADORE and am deeply pained by at the same time. No, that’s not because I’m ill and sound like I’m struggling to stay alive - but because I’m worried that many DO still expect us to be grateful for a seat at the table. Grateful to have our voices heard - but not listened to. Grateful to work for free or the bare minimum, grateful to be exploited. But truly, this chat does mean the world to me. Nish Kumar speaks on a level about protest, appropriation, the relationship between Asian stand-up and stand-up by Black comedians - and something I was forgiven for asking about: what the deal was with The Mash Report getting cancelled. Today, we are in a space where we can reflect on what was and wasn’t progress - but are people doing this? Are we learning lessons and fixing things - or is society pretending to care, while glossing over the fact that many still face ongoing exploitation? I hope the future nods to some points raised in this bittersweet conversation between Nish and I. The landlady cat Zambia says the chat is pretty dope, so you know it’s gonna be high quality in your ears. I’d love to hear from you. Please do share this episode with your friends and say hi to me: I’m @lilliealmond on Twitter and @almondsweetness on Insta.
06/06/2249m 2s

Nadiya Hussain "This room doesn't look like me"

I love this conversation with Nadiya Hussain. And I was surprised in this chat when Nadiya replied to me - with an answer which suggested that maybe I’d asked where she’s from. I felt conscious and worried that gosh, am I being heard as the person who asks *that* question? But why? There isn’t anything wrong with that question - because the meaning is in the intent. And when I listen once again to Nadiya’s answers, I hear her thoroughly answer my question: “What does ‘Where you from?’ mean to you?” And that answer comes through in countless gems in this convo: Recognition of work ethic, which so many of us will deeply relate to. The Cornish Pasty Police - they’re out there! The fact that billboards featuring people of colour does not mean that the work is complete… … and the blessing that we can thrive in spite of adversity - by creating our own unique spaces. I’d be lying to you if I said those were my only highlights in this chat, because we have seasoned it with flavour and depth. Which of those flavours did you catch? What was most poignant to you and what did you think? Let me know! I’m @lilliealmond on Twitter - and on Insta, I’m @almondsweetness. Dm me, shout me, hit me up x
30/05/2231m 47s

David Lammy "As a young black man, I was never anonymous in the Palace of Westminster"

Why are some boys and men hit by stop and search more than others? In this episode, Shadow Foreign Secretary and Tottenham MP David Lammy speaks with me about what would happen if a Professor at Oxford University was rolling a joint - and what would happen if a young boy in Salford or Brixton was rolling a joint. This is deeply intertwined with, “Where you from?” We talk about David’s experience as ‘the first Black Briton’ to study law at Harvard; what do these ‘firsts’ actually mean? That was really important progress - yet we all know that society has so much work left to do. David also tells me that all countries over-imprison their minorities. I don’t know if I’m surprised by this, yet it echoes in my mind. And we talk about how some of us have had to work harder than our peers to get to where we are. I feel like there are experiences in this chat that connect with so many of us - and I’m looking forward to hearing about what stands out most to you. Tweet me @lilliealmond or hit me up on Instagram @almondsweetness. #whereyoufrompod
23/05/2243m 31s


“Where you from?” What makes this question so important? Why do people ask it and why is it interesting to them? … and what does it really mean? LBC reporter Lillie Almond sits down with big names including David Lammy, Nish Kumar, Nadiya Hussain, White Yardie and more to explore the question "Where you from?” “What does it mean when the Home Secretary is a Hindu British Indian? And what does it mean when that Home Secretary chooses to enforce an immigration policy - that by her own admission would have prevented her parents from coming into the country? “Are we going to be happy with symbolic representation, that results in us being essentially tools of the white supremacist patriarchal society?" - Nish Kumar "Many immigrants would have grown up with the experience of their parents saying you've got to be ten times better - because their parents know that there are hurdles in front of your kids and you can't slack off. I meet a lot of young people and they really can't stand that idea because like, why should I have to be any different? “There were moments where I felt very insecure and there were moments where I felt very lonely and very down. You know, if you come into Westminster, as I did as a young black man - I was never anonymous in the palace of Westminster." - David Lammy "To date, I have never been in a situation where I felt completely comfortable. I always stuck out like, I never ever felt represented. I always felt like, this room doesn't look like me. It doesn't feel like me - it doesn't sound like me. And there was definitely a problem. “The truth is the reality of the situation is that space was never created for someone like me. That's why I'm not there. That's why I look at my job as not only a career, but also a responsibility, to create space for people who look, sound, feel like me to believe that they can be a part of the industry that was never meant for them. And I'm here to show them that this, you can have this career. You can take this space up because it's not about taking somebody else's space. It's about creating your own." -Nadiya Hussain Lillie explores the impact that the question, "Where you from?" has had on these peoples’ lives. We explore how it makes them feel - and learn how their journeys have been shaped by this discourse. Subscribe and listen to "Where you from?" on Global Player.
16/05/225m 44s
Heart UK