State Of Black British – 3
By Taju Tijani
Chrissy is a beautiful lady. Born, bred, bloodied on the estate of one of South London’s deprived boroughs. She is from the rebellious fringe of Brixton. She grew up on its muscular streets which are always under the control of muscular men. Brixton of yesteryears was a place of stony hearts. It’s beautiful sky was blighted with rebellion, riots, ganja, reggae music, dreadlock, soca, mugging, Garveyism, alcohol, pimping, pistol pushers and prostitutes. It’s local herald, writer, philosopher and defender is Darcus Howe. Howe is a proud “Saf Londoner” and tirelessly chronicles its pride, lifestyle, attitude, power, mesmerism, unrepentance, colour, energy and even humility.
Back to Chrissy. She lives with two grown up children. Both kids are victims of a faithless, useless, do-nothing absconding father. Chrissy had her children when she was in high school. That first pregnancy truncated her education and put her life on a perpetual pause. She trusted her man that they could work something out and still live a fairly decent life. By the second child, the trouble of raising two kids on social security handout was too much to bear. Both snapped. The union was wrecked. The bloke grabbed his jacket and joined the army of faceless absconding black fathers. He has not returned since. Ha! Black heart!
However, Chrissy was handed a lifeline by Lambeth Council. She was offered a chance as a trainee customer service assistant – yeah, receptionist for short – and to God be the glory she has been marking time there for the last 18 years. Chrissy would not be bothered by further education. Complacency which is the killer of the simple, finds fulfilment in Chrissy’s antithesis toward education. Education which should have been the shortest route to changing the story of our poverty and failure is turning into an uphill task for our kids.
The reality of our educational gap is staggering. High flying black professionals are becoming rarer in the city. No UK bank is headed by a black man. Hedge fund managers are white. Investment bank managers are white or Asian. City stock brokers in their suits and ties are exclusively white people.
The educational places we refuse to fill are being filled with the mass migration of Chinese rich kids who covet British education. Taiwanese, Arabs and Indians have edge out our kids in most British universities. They have relegated our kids to the background. It is sad that black kids see their future not in the limitless possibilities of British degree certificates but in the antics of a Tinie Tempah, Lemar, Kanye West, Akon, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Jayzee and many other balls grabbing rappers and singers. White school teachers take cues from our obsession for music. And what follows? They encourage our kids to study music. Budding black talents in the sciences are truncated early on by soulless white teachers who follow our responses to rap music.
Many black people are becoming more introverted. Finding no encouragement and friendship with their larger white community, many are becoming slaves to Nollywood, games and facebook. We are becoming nerdy recluse who bear the cross of exclusion. Teenagers are becoming zombies to downloaded trashy music. We are becoming You Tube junkies. Casual sex is becoming the norm. Promiscuity is ravaging the soul of our cultural heritage. Homosexualism that was once a cultural taboo among black people is becoming celebrated by our youths. Black kids now live their lives in three dimensional bubble.
Black leaders are dying breed. It is becoming practically impossible to reinvent and recycle black mentors like Bernie Grant, Darcus Howe, Paul Boateng, Diane Abbot, Herman Ouseley, Trevor Philips, Ian Wright and John Barnes. Most of them have given up the struggle with black British emancipation. Many are greying and with that, the inevitable onset of mental and intellectual disengagement. Probably, someone will interpret this better to me someday. I mean this recession, this dearth of black British leaders my children are supposed to look up to as mentors.
The terrible price of this gaping leadership hole is becoming unbearable in the black community. Teenage girls dream to be like Naomi Campbell. But Naomi at 45 is a clever diva. After losing her bra and shine on the catwalk, she now answers to the whims and pleasure of a Russian billionaire. Go on girl, give our successful black men a payback! She is serving her revenge bloody cold!
Naomi has cast a glance and realises that black famous stars are radically unchic in their choice of wives or girlfriends. British actors, boxers, football stars and whole raft of other famous faces have remain unapologetic when it comes to going out with white women. They are failing the tribe. Are our famous men still battling with that slavery mindset that sees white as beautiful, graceful and sexy? Is there anything wrong in our women enjoying the fruits of labour of black famous faces? Have we not lost the plot head on here? What is repelling famous British black men from going out with their own kind? Does like no longer attracts like?
I would advise a black footballer on £100,000 per week to do this. Rather than take a white bunny to Le Caprice, The Ivy and Annabel all top London restaurant and clubs for a meal for two and a bottle of champagne costing £22,000, why not try yum-yum, a down-to-earth and unpretentious restaurant in Hackney? A delicious and delicately arranged assorted of delightful African dishes cost only £6.50 per head. This is a buffet-hunter delight.
But no. We will not do this. Why? Have you not noticed that a successful black person is arrogant, bearing and loud? Loud in spending. Loud in the choice of ride – I mean land jet. Sorry, I mean in the choice of cars. Loud in attire. Loud in choice of language. Loud in mobile phones. Loud in laptops. Loud in music. Loud in promiscuity. Loud in religion. Yes, go on. You could add more. And more.
Few mixed marriages between black and white bunnies are successful. Many end up in shame and expensive settlement. It is becoming standard practice among white women to dump our so called famous black stars after their juice had been extracted. The dream of living with a beautiful, graceful and sexy bunny turns out to be a nightmare.
This is becoming a massive problem in our community. In Liverpool, London, Wolverhampton, Bristol and Manchester many mixed race men, women, teenagers and young kids have never set their eyes on their fathers or mothers. Many are not on speaking terms with their dads or mums. Many have resorted to drug, alcohol, hooliganism, crime and prostitution to lessen the pain of fatherless or motherless existence.
Black British are cultural rebels. Many of them are wary and hostile to everything authentically ethnic. They hate Africa. It is still being perceived as a land of man and monkey where both jump from tree to tree in a race to see the best jumper. Our kids are changing their names to sound Western. Kamoru is now Cameron. Badejo is now Baden. Bose is now Boswell. Diran is now Dillon. Some say that it is the fault of the older generation. That they saw, they fought but unable to conquer. How can a conquered race conquer a conquering race? Can we re-arm and go to battle? Where do we begin? Is this not the puzzle confounding the state of black British from days eternal? Can we regain our lost pride from the furnace of our collective adversities? Ah! Bloody black British!