The other day I was about to go out for a walk, but something was on my heart. And I had to express it. I sat down and wrote - on my phone. And then I posted it on Facebook. Because I had to. I was following my inner directives. I'm sharing it here with you - because it's an important story and one that is rarely told. It's all about being seen.
I’ve been watching Harry & Meghan on Netflix and here’s what’s surprising. It’s the first time on any mainstream television or media that I’ve heard any mention of my history or ancestry.
I was born in the UK. My parents moved us to Canada when I was 7 and my sister was 9 - mainly because of the widespread racism in the UK and the fear that me and my sister would have limited opportunities for education - to go to university. Their dream was to have 2 university-educated daughters. And it happened.
In the documentary, in episode 3, they go through the hidden history of how Britain, this tiny island colonized much of the world, the profitable slave trade in Jamaica and how until the 1950’s those who had been colonized couldn’t live in England….until they needed nurses and bus drivers….service occupations.
And that is when each of my parents separately left their country that had been pillaged by colonizers for decades. They went to England to find work and send money home to family. My mom was a nurse and my dad was the first Black bus driver in Derby.
And each step of the way - moving to England, then to Canada, starting again with nothing, raising children in a world where the colour of your skin dictates how you will be treated - it’s been a journey of resilience and love and perseverance and bone-deep belief in the strength of who we are as people, despite how the world has tried to gaslight us.
I had all the mixed feelings about the death of Queen Elizabeth. Did I feel sad? Yes I did. Did I feel resentful at how the UK has profited from Black people - as the entire world has. Yes I did. We’ve been ignored and made invisible as a people for so, so long. Our history is not told and not written in books.
Can you imagine what your life would be like if you’d seen no representation of your lived experience anywhere….for your whole life?
So in this Netflix doc, ostensibly about an heir to the throne and his wife, you see the whole foundation of this story, how Black and brown people have been ignored and overlooked in the UK for my entire life time. And that’s the part of the story that I think is the most important.
As a coach with a deep desire to help people to see the beauty of who they are, I can see how deeply rooted this desire is for me. Doing this work is ancestral healing for me.
I wanted to share this so I too stop being invisible. I don’t do this work just for my clients. It’s for me too, for the 7 generations behind me and the 7 generations in front of me.
I'm sharing my favorite picture of our family, so long ago. I'm the little baby on the right.
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