Olive, a service user at Kingsgate Centre:
“It gets forgotten that black people were here a long time before Windrush. I saw a Black History Month feature recently in the Camden New Journal with local figures going back to the 1700s and slavery. I pulled it out to keep – and I want to read Olaudah Equiano’s book now.”
“It’s important to remember the contributions of black people to this country. For instance, people from the West Indies did a lot for Britain during World War 2. My cousin served in the RAF.”
“I’m 92 years old, and came to London in 1955. It took weeks to reach England from Jamaica. I travelled with civil servants and someone who was going to study law and was appointed to the Queen’s Counsel. I worked in the rag trade, sewing, then I became a nurse’s aide and worked in St Mary’s Hospital helping with delivering children.
“It was hard back then without support with childcare so then I focused on raising my family. I moved to the US with my husband, but came back after he passed away, because my children and grandchildren are here.”