Tag Archives: Words

Young and black in Babylondon: part one

It wasn’t until I left Trinidad for much colder climes I discovered I was black.

All my life I had been a so-called “red girl” – a racial hybrid with Indian, Caucasian, African and Chinese anscestors.

Mixed, middle-class, prestigiously schooled and commensurately sheltered, I railed against the hyphenated identities adopted by Indo- or Afro- Trinbagonian peers.

“I’m a Trini,” I would insist when faced, as I so often was, with those who demanded to know how I defined myself.

But what did that mean? It was a question with which I struggled. I lacked a defined cultural context.

Continue reading Young and black in Babylondon: part one

Income inequality and life in London

Trinidadian bloggers continue to impress, inspire, inform and occasionally irritate me.

A gem I discovered today (while googling “doh cater”…) – The Modest Goddess

Her latest post was a reflection on a world in which David Beckham can make £128m to retire in LA:

…it makes you realise that life essentially has no meaning. You take things like flowers and hard work and education and fidelity and you realise they’re all a waste of time. You could have four PhDs and never earn a quarter of what Beckham will earn in a month

Arguments that have been raised before, in many a context. But it was this paragraph that grabbed me in its eloquence and immediacy to my own London experience:

And you go to the grocery and see old men with three things rattling around in a basket who spend the greater part of five minutes counting the coins needed to pay for the things that you know will constitute breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next few days. And you pass the men huddled and bundled under blankets in doorways begging you to spare some money and part of you is still human enough to care but that’s beaten into cowering submission by the part of you that knows by the next day you’ll need that same pound you’re tempted to give away.

But sometimes you still give it away, if only to stay human.