Category Archives: Race

40 years ago Barbados teenager Marcia Rollins went to England to become a nurse

Black Caribbean nurses made a huge difference in England’s National Health Service

Marcia Rollins is from Barbados. She always wanted to be a nurse but opportunities were limited on the island so when the UK needed new recruits she joined thousands of other Caribbean people and left for the ‘mother country’.

“It was always my dream to be a nurse. England was seen as the mother country and there were opportunities in England moreso than here in Barbados to do nursing.

I was terrified but full of hope for the future…

My plans were to go there and study nursing and get back to Barbados as fast as I could.”

Marcia was just 19 when she arrived in England and intended to return to Barbados soon after her training finished. She actually ended up spending 40 years in the NHS making a unique and valuable contribution as a Registered Nurse and gaining a diploma in health care. She retired in 2008 and moved back to Barbados.

“It was always my dream to be a nurse. England was seen as the mother country and there were opportunities in England moreso than here in Barbados to do nursing.

I was terrified by full of hope for the future…

My plans were to go there and study nursing and get back to Barbados as fast as I could.

You had things that weren’t very nice – Get back to the Jungle. Take your black hands off me. Things like that were said to you. To be quite honest, I didn’t let things like that bother me…”

Then I had a family… two small children and going back to Barbados was a far dream. I have no regrets. I consider England to be a University of Life.”

Read the entire story at Black Union Jack

Also from the same era, see BFP’s Bajan Ralph Straker passes in the UK – One of thousands recruited from the Caribbean by London Transport in the 1950s

 

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Immigration, Race

Sheri Veronica – As school children in Barbados we were taught to hate Jamaicans

Sheri Veronica Barbados

“Respect Jamaicans”

by Sheri Veronica

THE TRUTH IS, we were taught to hate JAMAICANS.  As a little girl in primary school, our teacher taught us that Barbados was the jewel of the Caribbean.  We were taught that any mad/crazy slave or any slave who could not take instructions, were shipped off to Jamaica.  This was the mandate, I supposed in my little head (or was that taught to me also), of every Caribbean island.  Send the mad and **aggressive slaves to Jamaica.  Then as time passed and you start to see clearer, meet people and question things, you soon realize that the insurgent slaves were the brave ones.  They were the men and women who could not be broken…

… continue with a good read at Sheri Veronica’s blog

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Jamaica, Race, Slavery, Sugar

Barbados Tamarind Hotel dresses black man as monkey, making monkey sounds to entertain white tourists.

Barbados Tamarind Hotel Racism

“Tamarind Hotel Boxing Day cultural extravaganza”

submitted by West Side Davie

Dignity and a sense of history are concepts way beyond certain people at the Tamarind Hotel. And perhaps at the Nation Newspaper too – judging by their happy take on the monkey story.

Perhaps next year the Tamarind could add a “Who dat say who dat when I say who dat?” performance, and have all hotel staff address guests as “massa”. If the middle-aged white tourists could grab one of the young hotel staff anytime they felt like a quick boink with no resistance or repercussions that would pretty well complete the plantation experience that the Tamarind Hotel is obviously attempting to achieve.

bussa-barbados-hengreaves-paterika.jpg

This is how far we’ve come Bussa: wearing a monkey costume with tail, making monkey sounds and calling it Bajan culture.

Dear Jesus, please come soon.

Nothing more needs to be said. Headline says it all.

You should read the article at the Nation News, but you know how it is ’bout hey – if we don’t reprint the whole thing here, the Nation editors take it down and change history…

Monkey-mania at Tamarind

The Bajan Green Monkey can be a cheeky little fellow and yesterday his antics at the Tamarind Hotel cultural extravaganza endeared him to several visitors.

The pretend primate pranced and hopped around while getting up to mischief, like giving little Ellen McKay a little scare.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Culture & Race Issues, Race

Kathy and Henderson Nicholls – still happy and working hard

Barbados Mixed Marriage

A little over four years ago, Marcus did a story about Kathy Rockel, a white girl from Colorado USA who came to Barbados as part of a medical-transcription business. The business eventually went bust because Barbados just couldn’t compete competitively in the world market against places like India where people work for money that wouldn’t even buy food here.

Kathy and Henderson in 2010

Kathy and Henderson in 2010

But the focus of BFP’s story about Kathy is that while in Barbados she met and fell in love with Henderson Nicholls – a Bajan who follows the Rastafarian faith. They married and off they went to the USA.

I wondered how they were doing these years later. After all, about 50% of marriages fail anyway, nevermind the different races, religions and cultures between Kathy and Henderson.

So how are they doing?

Fine. Ever so fine!

Good for them. There is hope in the world.

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Race

A bit ‘o Barbados history: Walter Tull, first black British Army officer died at Somme Valley, France 1918

Walter_Tull

“There were military laws forbidding ‘any negro or person of colour’ being commissioned as an officer, despite this, Walter was promoted to lieutenant in 1917.”

Royal Mint to issue coin to honour the first black British Army officer

Walter Daniel John Tull was born on April 28, 1888 in Folkestone, Kent, England – the son of Barbadian carpenter Daniel Tull and Kent-born Alice Elizabeth Palmer. Orphaned at about seven years old, he was raised in an orphanage. The start of World War I found Tull doing quite well as a professional footballer, but he volunteered to serve and in 1916 fought in the Battle of the Somme, rising to the rank of Sergeant.

You have to understand that a negro/person of colour was not allowed to command white soldiers, but because of the need and Tull’s talent and earned respect, he was placed in charge of white soldiers and eventually promoted to lieutenant.

Tull was machine gunned to death on March 25, 2918. According to reports, several of his men (white soldiers all) tried to recover his body but could not due to the battle. His body was never found and Tull remains on the field of battle with thousands of his comrades.

There are efforts to recognize Walter Tull with a statue or a belated medal, but perhaps the best recognition is for Bajans to tell his story to others.

For the interested, here is where you can find a little more depth and details…

Wikipedia: Walter Tull

Walter Tull Sports Association: Who is Walter Tull?

The Guardian: Walter Tull, the first black officer in the British army, to feature on £5 coin

Our thanks to our old friend Christopher for reminding us of Walter Tull.

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Military, Race

Benjamin Moore Paints used racially offensive colour names – Is ‘Nazi Red’ okay?

Benjamin Moore Paints Lawsuit

(click photo for large)

An interesting story is breaking in New Jersey where Clinton Tucker, a black employee of Benjamin Moore Paints, has launched a lawsuit claiming that the company apparently named various paint colours after him – allegedly just to disparage his race – and then fired him when he complained.

Mr. Tucker also took exception to the company’s naming of ‘Confederate Red’. While Mr. Tucker found the paint names ‘Tucker Chocolate’ and ‘Clinton Brown’ repulsive (he had worked on these colours before they were named), his white supervisors laughed at him – so Mr. Tucker says in his lawsuit.

Benjamin Moore’s website states that the colours were named after Mr. St. George Tucker in 1798 “for his home facing Courthouse Green” in Williamsburg.

Hmmmmm…. I wonder when that was added to Benjamin Moore’s website.

And to top it off, Benjamin Moore’s ‘Confederate Red’ page says:

Benjamin Moore Flag

Benjamin Moore’s Confederate Red

This rich, refined red is a timeless and enduring classic. A great accent wall color, it is not too bold and won’t overpower a room.

Hmmmmmm. To some folks, myself included, Confederate Red invokes the same thoughts as if the colour was named ‘National Socialist Red’ and said “This rich, refined red is a timeless and enduring classic…”   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Human Rights, Race

Amazing Barbados Photo: Blacks, Whites, Asians, Mixed Races Attend Party Together! Actually Enjoy Each Other!

BFP:

Six years ago our friend Light-Skinned-ed Girl declared May to be Mixed Experience History Month. We hope the idea catches on because those of us who are Heinz 57 and/or in mixed-race marriages need to reflect upon our roots once in a while.

If you have to ask “What’s the big deal?”, well, perhaps you need to think about it a little more. There are many more of us than ever before but when we talk with other mixies, the experience is generally the same: neither black nor white, and not really accepted by either race. Here’s a little piece written by Marcus back in October 2006. I miss him…

Originally posted on Barbados Free Press:

graeme-hall-party-2.jpg

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Site Of Astounding Happening!

Yes, folks – we couldn’t believe it ourselves (what with all this talk of that one incident last week between a light-skinned homeowner and a dark-skinned young man – link here) – it is true that several hundred people of all races, colours and religion all met last Saturday at the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, and actually enjoyed each other’s company!

The event was the official launch of the proposal to establish the Graeme Hall National Park – but it felt more like a party than a meeting to Shona and Marcus.

One Racial Incident At Party…

There was one very serious racial incident at the party though. For a few minutes around 5pm, the cash bar ran short of cold Banks beer and two men of different races argued over who would get the last cold one.

A Barbados Free…

View original 108 more words

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Race