I have been trying to find the right words, more than that the right language. It feels very strange to be recounting something so personal when for years this would have caused me so many penalties. This is part of my story. Flashbacks to my childhood growing up in a three roomed basement flat in Hackney with my single white mother who always seemed to be searching for my Jamaican father. A mixed-race child, a coloured child, a half caste. My education journey and success now seem to add up to a series of events where I was hidden in plain sight.
Sir William McPherson, the judge who presided over the inquiry into Stephen Lawrence’s murder, passed away on 14th February. The sad news, announced by his family, came almost precisely 22 years after the publication of his seminal report following Stephen’s untimely death. Sir William and his report have left a lasting legacy, instilling the concept of “institutional racism” in the British narrative and psyche.
I openly confess to a tendency to reminisce at this time of the year, usually through the medium of the ubiquitous festive tunes that seem impossible to avoid - despite trying my darndest to do so! So as we set for a long goodbye to the most tumultuous year that I sincerely hope the world ever has to encounter, the rhyme and reason of The Pogues, John Lennon and Johnny Mathis unconsciously come to prominence.
We needed to tackle inequality in a way that is intrinsic to the way we operate. We finally worked out how....
Having spent the majority of my career as a psychology teacher, I have always drawn on Jane Elliott’s famous ‘blue eyes, brown eyes’ experiment to impress upon my students how devastating discrimination can be.