Updated: Oct 5, 2020
I'm not sure how I ended up with five Bi-Racial children, obviously, I do ha ha; but I had never set out to meet a black guy all those years ago, from the age of sweet 16. I did not know any black people at that time, and there were only two people of colour in the whole of the school I attended.
The only possible thing that I can think of, which made me be surrounded by black Caribbean men, was music. From an early age I was into Motown, and Michael Jackson complete with Afro, was stuck proudly on my bedroom wall, whilst my friends had pictures of the Bay City Rollers.
I then got into soul and reggae, and there the story goes. In the 70's many of my friends were already going out with black men, and so my interest grew, maybe it was how they danced and no disrespect whilst the white men I knew, span you around whilst dancing to a smoochy song till you got dizzy ha ha, the black men I met really did have rhythm, and you felt their soul literally. I was hooked!
I got pregnant in 1979, when I was 20, with the first of my five children, I was no longer with the baby's father as he decided to go back to his ex, great eh.
Before my son was born, a mother of one of my old friends, advised my mum that I had disgraced my family. My mum bless her stuck up for me as she was looking forward to meeting her first grand child, whose sex none of us knew at that time. I was so inexperienced and clearly had not been briefed on what to expect as I was coming to the end of my pregnancy. I thought I was weeing myself for about two days and got the odd pain, I thought this was normal. I went to the toilet, and felt what I now know was the bag filled with the amniotic fluid and baby. The bag bulged out, what did I do? Call my mother? No, Call an ambulance ? No; I pushed the bag back up and went shopping with my sister.
I was single and pregnant, and a few people asked me what colour I thought the baby may be. I found it peculiar, that this was asked as after all it was my baby, who cares? and politely went along with them as they suggested from coffee colour to chocolate. I now know those questions were only just under the surface of the racial awakening that would come to me, being a white mother with a Bi Racial child or colour.
I went on to have my baby the next day, my mother came in the ambulance with me and promptly left and went home. I was alone! My mum and dad came to visit my squashed up little baby who of course was the best looking baby at the hospital. I will never forget my dad's face when he saw his first grandchild, he burst out crying and said that he was so sorry. He explained that he did not really know what to expect and at first wondered what everyone would think, but could see now how much love he felt for this little baby.
I won't bore you with all the details, that's another blog! But I went on to have five beautiful Bi-Racial children. I remember walking in our local high street, and a racist walked in the middle of my children separating them as he did so doing a Nazi Salute. Now I had been known to be very verbal if something or someone upset me, but this was my first experience in which someone showed actual hate towards my children's blackness. It was huge for me and a major wake-up call; I felt scared for my children and stood still watching this fool walking away, quietly, fighting back tears.
For us, it was the first taste of the racism that so very many children are forced to face. We have had the unfortunate experience of being followed around the shop by security guards in shops, yet when on my own whilst the children were at school, no security guard followed me.
Instead of agonising over how unfair our world can be and to some extent let my children become victims. I registered them in a Caribbean Saturday School as I thought that if they were educated in Black History then this would enable them to feel empowered with the knowledge that they should feel proud of their colour and become literally comfortable in their own skin; hoping this would be enough to be proud of their roots and different cultures.
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