To commemorate and celebrate 75 years of the Windrush Generation, an incredible display highlighting the importance of Caribbean History and how it has significantly shaped the UK as we know it has been installed at the JAGS library.
A huge thank you to our wonderful library assistant Mrs Barnett for the time and effort that went into producing the powerful display.
It features biographies on Windrush Pioneers, recommended literature, along with an insight into the journey Mrs Barnett’s family made to Britain as part of the Windrush Generation.
Mrs Barnett explains more below:
“I wanted to produce this Windrush display, to celebrate and showcase this very significant milestone in British History. The Windrush Generation (1948-1971) played an integral role in the Britain that we know today.
“If we cast our minds back to 2018, when the Windrush scandal first surfaced as a result of the Home Office destroying thousands of “landing cards” in 2010. For many of the Windrush Generation, this was the only proof they had of their immigration status, especially those who came as children on their parent’s passport. Many elderly people were detained and wrongfully deemed as illegal immigrants and deported from the only place they knew as home. My poem We Neva Jus Come (see below) encapsulates this scandal and the many misconceptions of the Windrush Generation. They did not just come to Britain without a cause, without sacrifice, without purpose or without an invitation. It is indeed a dichotomy to the “Mother Country” that they were expecting to welcome them with her open arms and the stark reality of the “Mother Country” that rejected them on arrival.
“My display includes Windrush Pioneers, and a snippet of the journey that both my maternal and paternal family made to Britain as part of the Windrush Generation. It was also an opportunity to highlight the importance of Caribbean History and how it has significantly shaped the UK we now know.
“Collating the Windrush display was very serendipitous for me, having found out about the role Black Caribbean women played in World War II. I do recommend reading, War to Windrush: Black Women in Britain 1939-1948 by Stephen Bourne which is now available in our library here at JAGS.”
Wi Neva Jus Come
Wi neva just come
We were, implored to come
We were, invited to help rebuild Britain
We were, promised great job opportunities
We were, well qualified professionals
We were, coming to help our “Mother Country”
We were, here before the docking of The Empire Windrush
We were, treated with such mistrust
We served, alongside you, in World War II
We sacrificed, we paid the price
The stares, the prejudice, the questions, the misconceptions
Imposter syndrome, as if we don’t belong
Where are you from
No, I mean, where are you really from
We answered your call
We came, we contributed, we built, this is our home
Wi neva jus come
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