The British Library

Jamila’s Story

I was born in Britain in 1982. I am second generation migrant from Jamaica. I feel like a visitor in stunning and welcoming Jamaica; "Hey English gal!" and a visitor in green and cold Britain; "Where are you really from?".

I was brought up with the often repeated advice from my family;
"You will have to work twice as hard to achieve the same as your European friends."
"Don't eat/sit on the street, we don't need to give white people extra reasons to look down on us."
amongst others, these ideas are deeply engrained in me.

I have an African name, to remind me daily of my true home, I am often 'other' on meeting me, on an email or on the phone.

I live in Shropshire for the scenery and occasionally not the only non white in any room.

I am an artist, mother, woman and I often worry that I will run out of 'fight', but I know I won't.

-Jamila, Shrewsbury

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