Reggae Girl makes heartfelt post about facing racism in America

By June 13, 2020
Reggae Girl Allyson Swaby Reggae Girl Allyson Swaby

America-born Reggae Girl, Allyson Swaby, who plies her trade in Italy with Roma, has display four heartfelt tweets about how she suffered racism at college in the United States.

Before Swaby went to Roma, she played football for Boston College, where she spent four years. While there, Swaby was not exempt from the tentacles of racism and is now telling her story as part of the push to publicize the many times, covert nature of racism.

“If you think racism only exists in the darkest of places and not your own communities, friends, families and homes, I’m sharing my story for you,” wrote Swaby in one of four posts on Twitter.

Swaby then went on to list a series of instances she suffered racism at the hands of teammates that could have made a lesser woman crumble.

  • Explaining to white friends why they cannot say or sing the ‘n’ word. Only for them to continue using it over and over.
  • Being told “no black people allowed” in a GROUP photo by a teammate.
  • Being told I’m “too dark for golden hour” by a teammate.
  • Being asked, “how come my sister is so light???”
  • Being told I’m “pretty for a black girl”
  • Listening to a teammate chant “build the wall” while watching the news
  • Being told “you know damn well you wouldn’t have gotten into Boston College if it wasn’t for soccer”

Swaby went on to say the list could go on and on and that she was sure the people who said these things do not even remember doing so.

“And I’m not sure the people in the room, who heard, felt more discomfort for me than themselves,” she said.

Well I remember it all, and you’ve probably mistaken my forgiveness for carelessness.

While she has forgiven the perpetrators of racism toward her, Swaby said she must now speak up about the way racism affects future behaviour.

According to Swaby, racism robbed her of her innocence, making her aware of how people view her off the bat.

“They (racist remarks of the past) are a reminder that when I walk into a room, people will notice my blackness first. They will have formulated an idea about me before they’ve gotten to know me,” she said.

“I will feel like it’s my job to prove them otherwise.”

Then Swaby goes on to make a markedly powerful remark about being black in America.

“But what if people don’t get to know me?” she queried.

“Am I no longer the person I’ve spent my whole life working to be?”

“Am I just another black girl to everyone around me? What if I’m not at my best, all the time?

“Does that make me disposable?

“In my heart no, but in my mind, I have to assume the answer to these questions is yes, just to keep myself safe,” she said.

because as we’ve seen, the rules in America for staying alive while black are extensive, ever-changing, and without explanation.

Still, there is hope in Swaby’s message as she implores the whites who know themselves by now, to understand that racism affects everyone and that the Black Lives Matter movement is about everyone and that whatever feelings of sympathy they have for her, be turned into action.

Swaby was part of Jamaica’s historic Reggae Girlz unit that earned a berth and played in the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

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