This is a question that I constantly ask myself, it’s a difficult one. My parents are forever drumming into me don’t mind what white people say you are British because you were born here. Though I wonder does birth mean I have automatic rights to claim British citizenship.?

When the law changed  in the 1980’s, a child born in the United Kingdom was automatically a British citizen if their mother was at the time of their birth. It was all based on your mothers identity. However a sneaky part of me wishes that my mother had kept her bajan status so I could claim that.

However bajan law has also changed before it used to be you could only gain bajan citizenship if your father was a bajan born individual. Though as my father is Jamaican born I wouldn’t have been able to access it that way. Now the updates in bajan laws on citizenship state that anyone who has family born in Barbados can apply for citizenship through descent. It will cost a fee of $300 bajan dollars which is roughly £150 converted into English currency.

The fact that Barbados and Jamaica and various other Caribbean countries, have changed laws were anyone born outside of the Caribbean can access citizenship means identifying yourself more complicated then you think. If you only had the choice to be British and nothing else you can see clearly in your mind that is who you are.

Despite white people constantly asking you where your from from? What does that even mean? They say where are you from I say I was born here in England. They say no really where are you from because your dark skin automatically blocks you from being assumed as British. You always have to be from somewhere else even,  if you’re fourth or five generation born here in the United Kingdom these issues will still effect you don’t ever let your guard down.

I feel like an alien in the country I was born in, I visit my parents countries of origin to be told I’m an quote on quote ‘English gal’. However despite being called an English gal when I’m in either Barbados or Jamaica I still feel more at home there then I do here,

Spiritually I have never felt so at peace and content then when I’m in the Caribbean it’s a deeper connection to my roots. I feel the ancestors pull there, I hope to one day make the leap and move there permanently until then I’m constantly going to battle with self-identity issues and where did I fit into a racist society.

Where you’re born isn’t always your spirits home……

Written by Sistah Soul

 

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Today marks the day I start by doing a whole week of blog posts on citizenship, how do you identify yourself. The importance of moving back to black majority countries and finally how to gain citizenship in your parents countries or elsewhere. So I hope you enjoy but first let’s start from the beginning  the importance of the windrush to us a Caribbean people!

The 22nd June 1948, exactly 70 years ago the empire windrush docked in tilsbury, Essex bringing along with it over 500 migrants from the Caribbean. The vast majority were from Jamaica. The Caribbean people were invited to come and rebuild Britain after world war 2 the country was a mess. There was also not enough British men who could help to fix the country as a lot of them died fighting in the war.

It was also an opportunity for Caribbean men who had served in the war before or as part of the air forces, for a chance to come to Britain and see the advantages they had to offer. However when they did come here it wasn’t all roses, which they were soon to discover.

They faced constant racism, having to deal with niggers go back home spray painted on their front doors. Black nurses who worked for the nhs were paid incredibly poorly, think about it the white nurses weren’t paid much either and the black nurses were beneath them. Some of the white nurses used to wash their underwear in the black nurses pots and pans. I could go on all day about the discrimination and racism they faced.

However to get to the point I wanted to speak on their sacrifices they made in order for us to have a better chance at life. Compared to what they had come from, they wanted to settle here at least for a few years none of them had the intention to stay here forever but sometimes it’s what happened.

When you’re not earning to even have a roof over your head, how can you make plans to even return to your country of origin. Racism in the United Kingdom is so insidious that we were tricked to coming over here, to work for them and then ended up trapped with no means of being able to leave. That is until they wanted to kick us out.

Without our grandparents sacrifices, without them integrating into British society would we have been better or worse off. There is money to be paid in the uk however the British calling for West Indians to come and build up their country left Caribbean counties without the talented and those countries are now a mess.

I think it’s time we move forward and for us of the younger generation to start leaving the uk, I’ve already seen it happening in America children of African immigrants from countries such as Nigeria or Ghana are returning back to these countries. It is time for us Caribbean folk to do similar build up our countries like how we build up ungrateful Britain.

Written by Sistah Soul

So we’re going to have another conversation as I’m not done yet white people……

Im going to say it straight the psychological damage you have inflicted through white supremacy is one of the influences of black people’s poor mental health. You may not want to listen but I’m going to say it anyway because I don’t particularly care for your emotions.

Leta go back to slavery, just for a brief spell I don’t want to explode your brains or maybe I do who knows. Let’s talk about the damage that started of slowly.

Traumatising black men and black women by keeping them seperate, yes isolating black men and women from one another. Black families weren’t allowed to be together and you wonder why that trauma lasts into today.

However when we present facts, you insist on writing fiction you lot are experts world class authors on fiction novels.

Secondly let’s talk on what is happening recently with the spate of white people calling the police on black people fpr simply breathing the same oxygen as you. Are you that offended, because I’m sure your lungs are doing fine. Yet you insist on being petty.

White privileged human beings can’t function unless black people are constantly beneath them. Once again the word trauma imagine you are simply living your life and the police are called on you.

The fear of loosing your life or being beaten up, because Becky said you looked at her funny (where have we heard this before emmett till anyone?) it is not even so much the police being called, though we are steadily loosing trust for them and this seems to be a common theme. It’s the fact that white people can freely call the police and face no consequences.

While our mental health suffers, they can just apologise and that’s the end of that. While we only have to turn on our TV sets and see one of our brothers and sisters lying on the ground shot to death. You will never understand that pain, and I don’t care for you too.

Thirdly I want to address how you are damaging our black children, with the constant attacks on their self esteem. Imagine you go to the hairdressers get your hair done in braids which are nice and neat. To then go to a white institution where they instantly devalue them, and threaten them with expulsion just for a hairstyle. Or banning children from schools because they follow the Rastafarian faith and wear their hair in dreadlocks which is a reflection of this.

Apprently it distracts them from their education, I question the education you mean the myths and fables but I digress…. Or let’s talk about children and constantly disadvantaged from the minute they step into your gates. The reason why they’re black and they’re good to be productive to keep the white economy going working on mini plantations.

However what about their mental health, what about the fact that black people are the ones who are hospitalised at  higher rates compared to white people. Or the fact that black children’s mental health is suffering greatly. Cahms is overwhelmed and if whote choldrwn can’t get a referral instead being left on a waiting list for months. What chance do black children stand, absolutely none.

So yes white people are to blame for a lot these issues and it’s time for them to acknowledge it. The race audit Teresa may (Britain’s prime minister) released a few months ago was cute but that’s not enough. To put it simply there was nothing in the report that we didn’t already know……

Written by Sistah Soul

We need to continue this conversation as I feel there is much more to be discussed. We shall tackle an issue that I feel black parents particularly of the older generation tend to shy away from Mental health.

Now I want to start first of by apologising if you felt I was too harsh, however oftentimes pussy footing gets us nowhere!

Currently in the United Kingdom 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem that can be anything from anxiety, depression, schizophrenia or psychosis. Here in England alone, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem in any given week Mind, (2018)

Now to address the issue at hand Mental health, (2018) has found that black and minority ethnic groups are more likely to be diagnosed with mental health problems and are more likely to be diagnosed and admitted into hospital. These are the facts and it is time you face them and not run away. Your black children need you it’s not easy but we are all struggling we just don’t want to struggle with you also.

Black people get treated the worse by mental health services, more likely to be admitted into hopistals that’s if the services even take you seriously. Have you ever noticed it’s mainly the police or the courts that are overseeing the admission of ethnic minorities. Where is the primary care, e.g general practioners making referrals.

So we are not being recognised by the mental health services or we are overrepresented by far, then we are finding it difficult to even approach our parents and say my mind is broken how do I put the pieces of it back together.

In most Caribbean and African cultures mental health is seen as taboo, it’s not something we discuss black people are very much of the struggle in silence motto. Which is very detrimental to our health physically emotionally and mentally. With all the racism we face on a daily basis it’s actually amazing that more of us are not battling silent demons. That continuously plaque our every thoughts.

I’ve noticed that mental health within black communities is seen from an ignorant perspective we are either demonically possessed or just ‘tired’ if we have a good nights sleep we wake up tomorrow feeling right as rain. Though honestly for people with severe mental health issues it’s as if the rain is falling on top of them and they’re drowning.

My issue with a lot of black parents is the dismissive nature you seem to have, if your child approaches you and says something isn’t right I need help why do you assume the best option is to pray? Why not help your child to book an appointment with his/her gp.

Or is it the ignorance the unwillingness to accept that maybe the psychological damage was inflicted by how you’ve treated your children growing up. Now they’re Spiraling our od control and you’re faced with a mirror of your actions it’s too difficult to process.

I understand that oppression, white supremacy and white dominance has effected us all. However I can’t sit here and see black children drowning while their parents ignore it. At the end of the day we are only looking to be loved by you unconditional love has no barriers.

So here are my tips to address mental health for your black children….

1. Listen! If your child wether adult or not tells you they’ve not felt right for a long time, they are aware that something is wrong please listen do not judge, do not suggest praying about it. The time for action is now the sooner you get your sun or daughter help the sooner they have the potential to recover.

2. Stop being dismissive! There are often multiple signs that a person is having a break down and understandably they’re often missed. However if you acutely aware and know what to look out for you can help your child!

3. If you’re computer literate or if not ask someone to help you research up on black therapists, black psychologists. Or charities that are aimed at black, Asian and ethnic minorities in order for ya to get help within our communities. It is a pity to say that the struggles that we face white people typically have no clue on.

4. Finally 4! It is ok to accept help, some of you are not bad parents at all. It’s just this mentality of trying to help your child by yourself only is doing them more damage then you think. Let people in if you have family members who are nurses or doctors let them in to help what would they recommend. Please don’t try to do everything by yourself you’ll end mentally unstable also.

I hope black parents understand these conversations must continue, learn about mental health. What are the signs of poor mental health, does it run in your family etc.

‘Liberate the minds of men, and ultimately you will liberate the bodies of men’ -Marcus Garvey

Written by Sistah Soul

 

You read that title right ladies, this is for you beautiful women.

Over the past year I have put weight on, I’ve gone from 9 stone to ten and a half and now just a little over ten stone. I lost a lot of weight due to stress (university is a killer!!)  However now the weight is on its stubbornly refusing to move not that I mind but you know people love fi chat.

My belly has also grown which is unfortunate lol, my bampsie has grown and my thighs and hips. My breasts are still little mosquito bites which is disappointing I thought with weight gain they would have gotten bigger. Alas no it wasn’t meant to be.

This blog is for you lovely ladies who may have gained weight, or lost it and you don’t feel comfortable. Clothes aren’t fitting how they used to (your favourite jeans are too tight or now they’re too big time to upgrade). It is ok for your body shape to change, to get love handles as long as you love them.

People will always talk on your body shape they are obsessed with it, ask yourself what is more important how do I feel about myself? Do I feel sexy when I look in the mirror, do I feel ready to face the world? Yes these jeans are a little snug but damn I look gud up.

It was only when I put this weight on that I was able to ask these questions to myself and realise, that when I was slimmer i wasn’t happy. I constantly complained about not having an ass, or wanting to have some meat on my bones.

Where as women who were bigger then I was wanted my slimmer body if I could have traded in a second I would have done best believe lol. Then I slowly started putting weight on and I finally learnt to love myself.

It is all about how you see yourself and how you learn to love yourself. No one can do it for you if there is something you aren’t happy about you can change it most times. However whether you’re marga (slim), slim thic, thic, or otherwise you are beautiful and special in your own way remember that ❤️

Written by Sistah Soul