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‘Where do you come from?’

Innocent enough question. Right? Mark didn’t think so, because when they saw him, they made an assumption of where he was born. Not that he disliked his heritage. When his grandmother spoke of Jamaica. The culture, the background of slavery she came from. Her own grandmother a slave, with the name of Mary. Although that wasn’t her real name, the name her mother gave her (Agwe)

‘They gave her the name, Mary Turner, she even took on the surname of her master. That’s what they did to slaves. Took away their identity, their very background snatched away in the fields where they reaped the sugar cane.’

‘Did she ever go free?’

‘She were seventy, but yes, she managed to go free. She escaped once, did you know that? Travelled to the North of America. Someone saw her, the colour of her skin, and reported her.’

‘It’s much the same now, I was driving back from the office the other day, and I got stopped by the police. They weren’t aggressive, made some excuse my brake light was out, but I was made to feel like I was second class. It’s discrimination how ever you wrap it.’

‘It’s better in England, but I get you. I hated giving you the talk, telling you to be calm, even if they aren’t. In American, you’ve seen the news, what is happening?’

‘It still shouldn’t happen.’

‘No, but it does. My advice, is when they ask you, explain why it isn’t right to say that. Tell them, would you ask where they came from? It’s the only way it will stop. Sometimes people don’t think it is racist. A bit like saying half-caste. Did you know that meant half pure.’

‘I learnt it in secondary school, my mate Toby, his parents said it once, in front of me. When I told them, they were mortified, said that wasn’t their intention.’

‘It will change, but one thing I want to say, don’t be ashamed of our background.’

‘I’m not, and that’s why I’ve decided to take you to Jamaica. I want to know where our family line really did start. I’m proud to be British, it is where I was born, grew up in. I’m also proud of Agwe, she is part of our past, and future.’

Published by writerravenclaw

I am a fifty something mother of two grown up children, and one beautiful grandchild. I have been married for nearly thirty-four years. My first book was published ten years ago. I wrote my book Sticks and Stones because of my experience of being bullied at school.

5 thoughts on “Agwe

  1. It’s tragic that that type of discrimination continues today. Highlighting it is a good way to help make people more aware of it, though, and to work towards stopping such things from happening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is, I still remember someone making a comment when I was walking with my best friend Theresa. It has come a long way since the seventies, but there still is a way to go. The half-caste comment was something I learnt while working in my school. It is a word commonly used, but I bet not many people know what it truly means.


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