I was not really going to write about my colour as I thought it was not significant. However, this has been one of my highest requests so come with me on my journey to The Land of the Ignorant.
This my own experience of growing up in the United Kingdom as a black female. Not coloured, because I am not a rainbow, just black.
As an infant, I don’t ever remember thinking about the colour of my skin. My parents never made any reference to us being any different, we were just children, and when we went to school, we just saw everyone as the same regardless. This is my experience of living in the seventies in London as a child. I know it was traumatic for others.
It wasn’t until I moved to Gwent, in South Wales, in the early eighties, that I realised that I was different, I mean these people looked at us like we were rare animals in the zoo.
We lived and owned a beautiful semi-detached house which was situated in an affluent neighbourhood. We had the biggest garden in the area. What started off as exciting adventure turned out to be my worst nightmare.
I have often heard many young black kids today saying that being black is a disability. It certainly was back in South Wales.
Believe me I did not find the humour in all of this back then as I do now.
I always remember a neighbour, who asked us if we grew trees in our house. I mean, why would we grow trees in our house when we had a large garden, and no there were no monkeys swinging on trees either.
When I first went to school everyone looked at me like the aliens had landed. It proved to me that these people had never travelled, they were ignorant. They wanted to touch my hair to feel how different I was. They were surprised that my skin was so soft and that I always smelt nice.
Then there was Live Aid, they then associated me with the Ethiopians dying from starvation in Africa. I was also a ‘Paki’ because they probably had never met an Asian before.
The teachers in school were just as condescending and insulting. They believed that black people were only good for sports. I can’t say that I blame them as I was ignorant of the stigma that slavery carried.
Black people were not allowed to have an education back in the slavery days, thus branded as stupid and illiterate. Knowledge is power, and there were dire consequences for anyone who tried to educate them.
I had made friends in school, and I was a Grade A student. But I was a very unhappy one too
I was spat at even by some adults on the street and no one wanted to sit next to me on the bus. I was called a ‘Jungle Bunny’ a guy named Neil Dyke, even used to joke about me being born in a coal bunker.
The police were no different. If I were to retaliate, I would be branded a troublemaker.
I cannot say I enjoyed any minute of those six years, living in a country, which hated on me, because I was a distinct colour, being black was my crime.
Six traumatic years of unhappiness is enough of a punishment. Maybe this was the experience I needed, to prepare for the real world.
We moved back to London in 1987. Personally, I have never experienced outright racism as I did in Wales not to say that it does not exist. I have seen it and heard it systematically though.
Moving on to the hatred that Black People seem to have for each other which stems from self-hate and conditioning.
I realise that there were more problems amongst black people themselves as a race. We have had so much self-hate that we condemn each other. We never build each other up.
The hatred of our own skin colour runs deep, dark skinned girls were classed as ugly, having big lips was an unattractive trait, our hair was classed as trashy and hard to comb. A flat nose was an Africans curse
It has taken a long time for black people to recover, from the pressure of trying to look more European in society some of them are still trying hard to be accepted.
Mainly black women and a small percentage of black men, still feel the need to bleach their skin and attach European hair to their skulls.
What is that telling our children today? That we are not a beautiful race? We are not good enough? We were born cursed.
A new-born baby is unaware of all the negativity that will be dormant in their life. As they grow older, they will be exposed to what their peers think and conditioned to believe that they are not good enough.
Every black person is aware that they are already born into a world where the media conditions us to believe that beauty is what you see on television and in magazines.
We as parents, aunts, uncles, cousins need to teach our young ones differently. We need to tell them how beautiful God has made them.
We must make them aware of how much they are loved and that they don’t need to look like anybody but themselves. That are unique individuals.
I admit I did not like my hair type because I did not know how to manage it. I guess we have all been conditioned by what’s in the media. We watch adverts and see catalogues of people with whom we don’t identify in any way.
Nowadays, most of what people saw as unattractive, has become the MOST WANTED, there are people killing themselves to have backside implants, lip fillers and suntans. Some people have a total body transformation to have a voluptuous figure.
I have never envied anyone on TV or wanted to change the colour of my skin. I love being a person of colour and the luxury of having melanin in my body.
I don’t judge a person of colour, who wishes to be identified as other it may help them on an application form. They probably have more hope of getting that interview with that top firm and will hopefully be judged on their merits rather than what they look like.
I have noticed some non-black people who seem to think that they are more educated on racism, they have a habit of saying that racism does not exist in the UK.
You are not even qualified to speak as you are not black?
You cannot hide from being a black person, you cannot change your race. No matter how much you bleach your skin or put false hair on your scalp you are still black.
People are still going to see you as black.
No one can put their hands up and say that they don’t see colour unless you are blind or on the end of a telephone. We all see colour.
It is a fact that we all see colour. When a crime is committed, you give a description of the persons colour to identify them.
To deny who you are , is to be ashamed of your parentage, and I am so proud of my handsome Father and beautiful Mother who were the reason for me being me. I did not always love myself, but it had nothing to do with them or the colour of my skin.
The other problem that I found black people, including myself, had was the denial of the African heritage. I am born in London my parents are from The Caribbean and so are their descendants. When I was younger, I just could not get my head around the African part.
I have no prejudices against the African race as they are people just like me. I think that there is a long history of a divide between the Caribbean’s and the Africans just like the other countries in the world. I am not sure whether it was down to the civil war.
I was told by an African guy that I was not pure black and that I am the left-over product from the mixing with the Asians and whites.
Caribbean’s hated Africans because they sold their own people into slavery when they could have been a powerful nation. Some of these people were royalty in their own country.
I am not really interested in the argument between any countries we are still seen as black.
Black people seem to hate on each other, they don’t like when somebody is doing better than them, they are judgemental and critical of each other.
This goes way back , even in the slavery days woman were beaten and treated as possessions rather than humans.
Even today men like to have control over a woman, even if he is not even a man of good character and has no good examples to set.
The only way this cycle can change is for women to take back their power and stop being doormats. Demand respect as and stand up for themselves and their children.
For there to be a balance it is about respect, acceptance, and love.
I am not going to speak about ‘black on black’ crime as this is not a subject I want to discuss as there is no balance.
The Scripture of Balance