Siana Bangura, a young Black Poet and journalist from London says she was subjected to a barrage of racist insults and had a jar of honey thrown at her.
Reportedly, Siana, a young, black poet described being slapped and racially abused by a white male while on her way to a Liverpool performance. The incident took place on Friday 16th October.
British Transport Police have confirmed that a 37-year-old man from Liverpool has been arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated common assault and was granted bail pending further inquiries.
The poet, who is currently on a tour performing across England for Black History Month , said she was shocked that other passengers failed to challenge the man. According to her, they took the position to either “look at their phones” or blaming her afterwards for “making a scene”.
She also claimed the attack was the second time she had been racially abused that week, and highlighted the irony of it taking place not only during Black History Month but also during National Hate Crime Awareness Week.
Siana said: “A man sat down next to me on top of my scarf and bag on a busy train from Birmingham to Liverpool Lime Street . He got off it but just after Runcorn leant into my face and asked where I was from.”
“He smelt like he’d been drinking and hadn’t washed, and when I moved back he said: ‘Don’t give me that attitude you black b***’. I repeated what he’d said so people knew what was happening, and he called me ‘crazy’.
“He started saying quite loudly, ‘you f*** n***, slave, you Africans spreading diseases and stealing our jobs, how do you like that?’. He tried to spit at me, and then to slap me in the face after I told him to get out of my face.”
“He missed and hit my shoulder. I slapped him back and he threw a jar of honey he had at me. I was yelling back, and it was only then someone stood between us.”
She added: “99% of passengers on that train should be ashamed – even people right near us ignored it, looking at their phones. I called them cowards, and said they’d have let him kill me.
“No one addressed him directly, everyone told me to calm down and a few said ‘stop making a scene’. It’s victim-blaming, and the ‘angry black woman’ stereotype.” (Or maybe in this case the angry black poet)
Despite being a little shaken up by the attack, she said she was determined to perform despite the ordeal, arriving at the African-Caribbean Society event at Liverpool John Moores University in a police car.
A spokesman for British Transport Police said: “We were called at 6.04pm on Friday, October 16, following reports of an aggressive man on board a train travelling between Birmingham and Liverpool.
“Colleagues from Merseyside Police met the train at Liverpool South Parkway station and arrested a 37-year-old man from Liverpool on suspicion of racially aggravated common assault.”
“He has been bailed pending further enquiries until Friday, December 4.”
Siana Bangura, will be performing twice in Liverpool on Saturday October 31, at 3pm at the International Slavery Museum and 7pm at the Liverpool Guild of Students. Experiences like these should only make teh black poet more determined to spread their work.