I dropped by my daughter's crib the other day and she was watching this TV program. From the little I heard of it, it really caught my attention. I don't check on what's on actual TV much so I tend to miss stuff like this. Gotta love BBC iPlayer for catch up. I asked Liana what she was watching and she said it was called “Black Is The New Black” (Episodes 1, 2, 3 and 4, available for 23 days).
I thought it was great that the BBC was putting out programs with black British celebrities talking honestly about their experiences and how they feel about living in this country. I was excited and couldn’t wait to see the whole series. It felt great watching and listening to prominent black people, my peers who I grew up with, having a voice – it seems, for the first time. Are we really here now? Can I talk about ‘the black thing’ and my history freely, without being seen as a militant standing up for black power, with all its associations of confrontation and aggression?
I felt that the celebrities had been itching to speak out for a long time. I could feel and hear it in their emotions when they spoke, sometimes bringing me to tears. It feels like I’m finally arriving although I came from Barbados to England with my parents and little sister in 1961. For the first time in my life I felt something I’ve never felt before. I can't quite put it into words yet, but it feels good.
My parents must have had a good feeling about England when they decided to bring the family over here to live. I’m sure the story we all have is the same. Everybody of my generation knows that story by now. It was tough as hell at first, but what an amazing journey it’s been, and look at where we are now. There's still a way to go but the tide is turning and it feels like we on the edge of a revolution.
Next catch up, I’ll be checking out the series “Black and British - A Forgotten History” (Episode 1, available to watch until Thursday 1:45 am; Episode 2, available for 11 days; Episode 3, available for 6 days and episode 4, available for 17 days).