Well-to-do Jamaicans of the 1950s did not think England was an advanced enough country for them to settle in. Unlike other West Indian islanders, only poor or relatively poor Jamaicans who none-the-less could afford the fares, left for the United Kingdom. Educated Jamaicans did not consider England an option at all. Many of our young men had travelled there during the war, and they did not like what they had seen. The educated ones among us rather opted for the United States of America, or Canada, wherever possible.
Month: October 2015
One person can make a difference, Mama said. That’s what my stepmother Anne-Amanda Bennett did every day of her life. She died alone in an Almshouse because I was too poor to find the cash for my kids, a home, and her out there in Jamaica. I cry whenever I think of her, but she left me such a legacy that I will end this chapter of my life with the best and most enduring memory I have of her.
I never dreamt I had a sexual relationship with anyone in 1966. The Deerstalker Story was a lie Alice told to get Tom and me to fight. What I said to her is “I dreamt that a white man washed my feet.” Out of sheer blasted spite, Alice turned and twisted things to suit her means. I didn’t even know at the time that she and my husband were carrying on.
It has always been my ill-luck that not many people have been there for me when I needed someone. Maybe it’s because I am the sort of person who does not ask favours. Nor do I even look as if I might need a helping hand. My husband left me alone in England, after a decade of marriage. He went back home to Jamaica, taking our three-year-old son with him, alongside his mistress. The same woman I used to call my best friend.
In the first two buildings that Ralph Swimer Limited occupied, no white person would work. Not even those without qualifications. The Swimer family lived above the first shop at 22 Whitechurch Lane, and their living quarters were as disgusting as the business premises below.