Come on over, we said. Help us to rebuild, we said. We’ll be eternally grateful ... not.
Racism is alive and well in this country today at every level. That has been proven by the government’s behaviour towards the Windrush generation this week. You see it online every day and hear it in our playgrounds. The newest arrivals usually bear the brunt of it but don’t be fooled into thinking it stops there.
We have largely written black history out of what we teach in schools. Ask a teenager what they know about Mary Seacole, or even yourself, and you’ll get my point
The people who have hit the headlines in the latest scandal are as Sheffield as you and me, many perhaps more so. But their stories go untold and their contribution unacknowledged.
We have largely written black history out of what we teach in schools despite huge efforts to drive change. Ask a teenager what they know about Mary Seacole, or even yourself, and you’ll get my point.
What do we share about the enormous contribution the countries of the Commonwealth made to the world wars these days? Where would we have been if black people hadn’t fought side by side with us and hadn’t then stepped in to fill key positions when peace was declared?
We just don’t bother. Why would we?
Large numbers of people who came to South Yorkshire from the Caribbean as children have been just keeping their heads down, hoping nobody will send them back to a ‘home’ where they know nobody or have no real place.
Their children are still less likely to get senior positions in our companies and more likely to end up behind bars. What a great dream we sold. But don’t take it from me. Read the feature on Pages 6 and 7 and make up your own mind. Then look around your own office and see how representative it is of our city.
We will be hosting a round table discussion soon on what it is like to be black in Sheffield in 2018. Do get in touch if you would like to take part.
The truth may not be as comfortable as many of us would like to imagine.