Black British – A Special Type of Citizen?


West Indian immigrants to America do better than indigenous Black Americans, but only fair as well as Black Americans who have moved from a rundown area to a good one. It is not cultural differences and attitude that is responsible for success but the act of migration itself.

Imperialism, although a morally bankrupt practice was directly responsible for my life in Britain. Nations hire foreign labour out of necessity. My parent’s migration was a consequence of this. If Guyana was not a colony we would never have been invited to Britain and I’d be in a Boiling house smelting sugarcane.

I am just one among millions of second generation immigrants born in Britain. I have mixed heritage but a singular identity and it is British. Being British is a fulfillment of a longing to belong, not the ridiculous PG Wodehouse caricatures on The Antiques Road show. I feel it when I cheer England on at the World Cup or when we bag a Gold medal at the Olympic Games. I feel it down the local or united on marching protest.

The days of the Great British Empire are long gone but sadly attitudes remain. What makes Britain Great today are it’s’ people; the risk takers who, without encouragement or coercion, grasp destiny. It’s Great people who entertain from the modern day Chaplin – Mr Bean to Formula 1 legend Lewis Hamilton. It is great innovators that keep Britain on the creative map, great singers, actors and sports personalities that connect to the man on the street. These individuals are not White or Black they are British. They perpetuate and renew our reputation across the world. One person’s belief, a moment of light bulb inspiration that makes Britain Great.

Read more from Mei


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