My Nanny Sarah is a character and a half. Perhaps one day I shall write her story and share her range of tales from bitter to sweet and all that is in between, as my Grandmother has had a very eventful life. Now eighty-eight years of age, with the beginnings of dementia, often happily she repeats the following Nursery Rhyme. A rhyme that represents promise, hope and excitement. Now a days with global warming and the threat of Brexit, the wrongful shenanigans re. The Windrush era and threat of British entitlement being removed from those that gave up everything, their homes, loved ones, history, brainwashed and promised that England and their Queen across the sea’s would welcome my ancestors with open and welcoming arms, permitting them to walk the streets pathed with gold, bathed in equality, flourishing with employment, good wages, better opportunity, happiness and freedom. Groomed from a young age, with nursery rhymes such as these, how shocked they must have been at the cruel, ignorant, brutality that they were showered with once stepping off the great ships on voyage to glory, but strength and perseverance, resistance and determination carried them through the horrors first endured, “No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish”! Now myself being 2nd generation British, be it swept under the carpet, I must not forget, we must not forget, the fight that was had and sadly in many ways still is, for the entitlement in which I am in receipt of today, I am a Black British Woman with Caribbean heritage, we have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.
“When I leave school,
I means to go away,
To see how other people work and play,
I need to take a trip across the sea,
Of cause I mean the ship must take me,
And then I’ll go to England,
And even then,
I won’t come home again!”
Was that rhyme so embed into my Nanny’s head, that some years later she indeed took a ship to England? She did go home again, but only to holiday. I am one of the fortunate grandchildren that got to go back to Montserrat with my Nan, but England for better or worse became her home and Birmingham City, the place of birth to my Mother, her siblings, many of my cousins and I. I wonder what my life would have been like if she stayed overseas!? Now in reverse, the Caribbean is the destination across the sea and has a place in Nan’s heart, full of memory and she most likely will never go home again. Although she has actually spent the majority of her life in England and so Great Britain is her home, now the only one dreaming about across the sea, is me, I don’t know to much about the living lifestyle in the Caribbean today, but I do know that Great Britain disappointingly isn’t so Great!