Defining Black British Culture in 2017

Jamaican immigrants arriving at Tilbury Dock in 1948 on the Empire Windrush.

When I started writing this post, I was speaking for black culture as a whole, all countries but in reality I realised my representation of culture stems from the UK.

My Maternal and Paternal Grandparents were immigrants, who travelled to the UK as part of the revival of Great Britain. After the second world war the country needed to be built again, reaching out to all other countries within the British Commonwealth the offer was made for those to come and find work. This included people from all over the Caribbean; Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Grenada and many more.


Thousands of people left homes and family from their hometown islands to make a new life in Britain. Learning about this I questioned the state the Caribbean was in at the time, why was everyone so desperate to leave? Speaking to older relatives who were around this time have little to say. Little detail and little explanations as to how they felt and I think this is where the black British culture began to disconnect.

The children left in the Caribbean at those time make up the majority of mothers in the UK now. As some parents eventually sent for the children they left behind on the island. We question the black youth in Britain and ask why they have no discipline real guidance or knowledge and my answer to that is that there parents were never shown how to be parents. If the majority of black children born in the 1950’s to 1960’s were left without mothers at as young as 6 weeks old, how would we expect them to then be the most knowledgeable and attentive mothers.


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