Interview with Robin Gregory
QUESTION 14
INTERVIEWER:

Can you start --

ROBIN GREGORY:

OK. We were back stage waiting for the announcement, as to who had won the--to me it was important because it was a popular election. It wasn't, you know, it wasn't a committee election or anything like that. It was the, the general body of the student population. And, um, you know, my thing was that I, I wanted people to start looking at themselves and accepting themselves. I mean, that was the aim of the campaign in the larger political context. So when it was announced that I won, all the other candidates were shocked because, I mean, this was, you know, they, they couldn't--it was a concept they couldn't grasp. And, and they were just stunned. So, when I went out there was pandemonium in the auditorium. I mean, it was, people were screaming and jumping up and down, and just sort of going nuts, you know. And there is a photograph, you know, I think I had my mouth wide open, you know? Sort of a high moment, you know? Um, it was very important, you know, in terms of, of self-acceptance. Because, I mean, it seems superficial in a sense because it's, it's an appearance thing. But, for anybody who lived through that, there were, there were years of self, um, denial and abnegation, you know, and non-acceptance of the way that Black people looked, you know? To themselves because of media images, and, um, there was a lot of shame. You know, the, the reason why people were so angry with me was because I was coming out in public in a way that I shouldn't have been revealing myself, you know? It was like this secret, you know? You're not supposed to show that you have nappy hair, or something. So, um, it was a really dramatic moment, yeah.