Black History Month 2021
Robert is a volunteer at George House Trust and has written a four-part blog for Black History Month 2021. Here is part 3......
When I separated from my wife and went on to the gay scene I was horrified at the language I heard in pubs and clubs.
The “N” word was still quite often heard but of course I am talking about the late 1980’s. Who says gay people can’t be racist?
I remember on one occasion thinking I had met a really nice guy at the bar as we bought drinks, chatted and laughed and then only to be told, “Oh, I have never been to bed with anyone coloured before but, mind you, I didn’t think your skin would be so soft or you would be so intelligent and you do smell nice”. “By the way, I hope you don’t live in Moss Side.” Needless to say, I made a hasty retreat out of that joint.
I am proud of my mixed-race heritage.
Whether it’s on my maternal grandfather’s side who was the grandson of a slave or indeed on my father’s side where there is supposedly some aristocracy as his great grandfather was the Count of Fosse. We need to remember that racism has been around for a long time.
My father told me the story of his uncle who went to Scotland to lecture at Edinburg University in the early 1900’s and when they heard he was from Jamaica, the students waiting in the hall started chanting “bring on the monkey” before he even got to the podium. Of course, they were quite shocked to see a white man and not what they had imagined. Apparently, my ancestor had a wicked sense of humour and his opening words were; “Well, now you’ve seen a white monkey!”
I can honestly say that I am happy with my station in life and I am pleased to say that none of the above has scared me in any way. I feel there are times when you just have to shrug these racist incidents off and even laugh as perhaps we can all be a little too PC.
Then, there are other times when you have to stand up, be counted and make a lot of noise, show your teeth and don’t let people trample all over you.
14th October 2021