01.02.17 – Rising tide

The tides are higher than normal at 16.00hrs these days, and the beaches are looking more deserted.

I am trying to work out whether it is because the tide is high and therefore the beach tourists are trying to avoid getting wet, or whether there is a natural lull in the number of tourists to the island.

Either way I benefit, as I now regularly have the waters to myself, observed only by another die hard local who braves these now choppier waters.

As my time comes to a close I find myself reflecting on how I underestimated the impact of being a Black man, in a Black country.

Yes, Barbados is not immune to the ‘shades of Black’ colour politics, but at the end of the day, I have found myself much more relaxed in my surroundings.

I find that I do not factor in whether someone is being racist when treating be badly or well.

I find that when I am in a position where I might make others feel uncomfortable, I know that it is because it is dark, or I am man, and not because I am Black.

Being Black, has been one less thing that I have needed to take into consideration, when going about my daily life.

It is not the same as growing up in a multicultural London, because although we were of many cultures and fought to be seen as equals, we were still identified as being Black and therefore categorised in that London multicultural, tossed salad of a society.

Living in Australia will take some adjustment again, as it is a country that is only now learning to live with its Black people. Australia has a history of killing off, breeding out, or annexing their indigenous Black population, and is only now learning to deal with a new generation of local and immigrant Blacks.

Even amongst the Black population in Australia there is conflict as some indigenous leaders refuse to accept their Black British, West Indian, African, Afro American, Pacific Islander and other Black cousins as being Black. These leaders instead prefer to non indigenous Blacks as ‘Other’ as if they are the only Blacks in the world.

I often am forced to remind them that even though they are the oldest culture an attachment to the same land mass, this does not make them the oldest culture, and certainly not the first Blacks.

The question of how Black someone is does not appear to be one that is raised much in Barbados.

These questions have been replaced by more practical everyday questions of political corruption, poor customer service and a lack of pride in ones pursuits. Unfortunately the energy we have save not having to actively be black, has not been channelled into resolving these other now pressing issues.


~ by jeditopcat on 2 February, 2017.

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