In the absence of any definitive concept of 'Britishness' ( that doesn't sound like bullshit)
I've decided to think..
To construct if you like.. my own campaign..
Well.... it's less campaign really, and more.. hmmmm..thoughtful tribute
lest anyone get the wrong impression that I'm anti Britain.
I'm Pan-Africanist sure..but not anti British
After all.... how could I be...
I was born right here in London. The Royal London Hospital to be exact.
Born at Dawn.. of course.. when else.
I have lived in London all my life, lived well, and lived happily
I enjoyed school.. couldn't wait to get there actually.
Enjoyed primary .. didn't enjoy secondary.
god love 'em :)
I would consider my upbringing a typical Caribbean upbringing of the time.. well...typical ish
We had no plastic covers on settees, and unlike many .. we were allowed in the front room
'Do your homework!
'Dawna, It's late .. come inside!'
No you can't play out!
'Ask your mum/dad!'
'None of your business!'
My parents? , very open people, good people I'd say
Very 'Caribbean' so to speak
It makes me sad at times when I consider that after arriving in London.. they spent little time after that , in the country of thier birth
Still... they appeared happy enough with it
They were young when they came here...leaving behind friends ( in many cases) and family
Jobs were hard to come by, but they were able to find them
Britain was hostile to them. yet the few who embraced my parents.. more than made up for it
I remember an Irish couple who were very close to my parents.. and of course... the old crowd
many of whom are no longer with us
I also remember... I couldn't have been more than 10yrs.. telling my mum.. I was not English
You are! - she insisted... angrily
No..I said... British ... perhaps... but not English
Surely I was too young for all that
In fact, I can't even remember what brought that on
Anyway.. to kick off my 'What is Britishness' series of posts.. I will present you with an image.. .
and all the images hereafter will mean something special to me..
Perhaps they will hold the key to Britishness.. In some way
So... without further ado, here's the 1st Image... simple right?
I spent many hours here as a child.
I always took the maximum number of books allowed.
Reading wasn't an escape.. but a doorway to a new world
A world were anything was possible.. and everyone looked like a cartoon.. until I said otherwise
I wasn't running away from anything, but my imagination and creativity was allowed to run free
I had the freedom to be a child, a child who had been taught to read, and was not denied access to books.
Finding common ground with those who looked very different than I
yet shared the same love
I loved that place so much
Stamford Hill seemed very different back then
If I ever pass that spot. the old memories are never far from my mind
Creating a environment rich in creativity, difference and acceptance
Images Source: Google Images