I recently attended an event with two British-Ghanaians in the media, which shone a light on how some of us second generationers (I know it’s not a word…yet) have dealt with feeling foreign in the country of our birth.
The event was organised by The Media Society and Reed Smith LLP and was called Brit(ish) and Black – Growing Up in a Strange Land.
It introduced former T4 presenter June Sarpong and lawyer and journalist Afua Hirsch and was called Brit(ish) and Black – Growing Up in a Strange Land.
Both women are panellists on the Sky TV show The Pledge, both have launched new books and both have lived in Ghana at some points in their lives.
June came from a well-to-do family in Ghana, grew up during the Rawlings years and had to flee with her immediate family to Britain in the 1980s. She initially lived in council accommodation – so it was a world away from her life in Ghana.
Comparatively, Afua grew up in Wimbledon, London with her Ghanaian mum and Jewish dad and only lived in Ghana as an adult when she worked for the Guardian newspaper.
What I found particularly illuminating was their different views on tackling racism. June said she doesn’t take it personally and said she didn’t experience it until she worked for MTV. Lawyer and journalist Afua Hirsch’s experiences as a biracial woman couldn’t have been more poles apart.
Check out the link above and feel free to share your experiences of being Black in Britain or living outside your place of origin?
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