For Christmas last year all my kids (Kids!? The youngest is only 37-bless him) got a DNA kit. Soon the results will come in and they should to a man and women be able to claim the mantle, POC or Persons of Colour.
Probably more important to me than them, when they open that envelope they will see a positive connection to the West of Africa. For me, (I don’t really want to speak for them, but I know I’m safe in the assumption) it was a tremendous moment that few will understand and indeed some will even wonder what all the fuss is about. But to finally have proof (my blood) and as it were, an identity, put simply a place to originate from with a history, (dark as it may be) was a very important moment in my life. It filled up an empty chasm that existed since the day I realised that even my school couldn’t be bothered to tell me who I was.
However, all wasn’t lost. Thanks to a life-long curiosity brought on by a lack of answers and things I’d prefer to push into that dingy little room at the back of my mind, I had done my research some time ago, so was not wandering around uselessly in the dark. Thanks to the wonders of the modern age and the best birthday gift I have ever had from Rosie here it was, my ‘history’ in (wait for it), black and white. The icing on the cake.
For me definitely, and I hope for my offspring the DNA was a positive move but there are what I like to call, consequences.
First of all, there will be some Black people who will say that me and my kids aren’t Black enough. And to call ourselves People of Colour is a stretch of the imagination. To them I would offer a hearty F O and say that (in my case) and whether they like it or not, I am just a Brother who was taken a little further away than they were and the sooner they accept that the sooner we can join together and fight the scourge of racism.
And secondly, there will (always) be the dyed in the wool racists who won’t change for nobody. Unfortunately, we can’t ship them out on a reverse Windrush, (where would you send them?) And it wouldn’t be right to shoot them, so I guess it’s best that they are continually fought off and confronted with reality…ergo…
We are here and we ain’t going away anytime soon. Get used to it.