Writer | Muses: history, inequality, identity, arts et al| Race + Black History Educator | Poet: Tre the Poet on Medium | treventour.com | E: tre@treventour.com

‘How working with a local community project forced me to rethink the Windrush Scandal

NorFAMtoN continues to show the importance of community organising (Photo Credit: NorFAMtoN)

Previously published by the NN Journal — 29th May 2021

When NorFAMtoN CEO Shereen Ingram asked me to join her project to help members of Northampton’s Windrush Generation, I jumped at the opportunity without a second thought, to give back to the people that raised me. I am still firmly of the belief that the village raises the child and…

I promised a colleague I would put this together so here it is. Whilst Whiteness Studies is multidisciplinary, I have given vague subheadings to help direct people to themes they are interested in … all these texts may well fit under multiple headings.

bell hooks, 1988. (Photo Credit: Montikamoss / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0)

“[White people] have a deep emotional investment in the myth of “sameness,” even as their actions reflect the primacy of whiteness as a sign informing who they are and how they think. …

As a dissenting voice against racist policing in my community before and following the Murder of George Floyd, the Murder of Sarah Everard followed by the Wayne Couzens Trial reminded me how the police have long threatened other historically excluded groups — in addition to Black people showing a history of policing that isn’t exclusive to racialised peoples (nor widely talked about).

Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

CW. Police brutality; violence against women; racism; misogyny; ableism; homophobia; transphobia; hatred; misogynoir.

Following the Murder of George Floyd, I, as part of of fifty Black and Mixed-Race Britons were interviewed as part of The UK Guardian’s early responses to the Black Lives Matter protests happening across the world, including Britain and of course the United States. …

I wrote this poem inspired by the work I have come across by academic Sara Ahmed on Whiteness (and other things). This poem is named for her article of the same name.

I have also found the attached video incredibly useful for people less academic in Whiteness, which brings this to the mainstream.

Sara Ahmed

In order to have Blackness or Brownness, we must have Whiteness

talking about racism puts the onus on the victim

without any inclination to discuss the system

it’s easy to talk in the language of DiAngelo or McIntosh

that keeps it between individuals, not how White power has quashed

I wrote this poem last year inspired by the these leaflets going around Bristol which got me thinking about Englishness and different White identities. This piece also somewhat comes inspired by a collection of essays called ‘White’ by Richard Dyer.

This would be an opportune moment to direct you to a great piece of poetry by Northamptonshire’s own Will Reid with his ‘My England’

A few months ago

there were leaflets going round Bristol

saying “it’s okay to white”

but that is not the same as being English

race and culture split like Brexit

I have been told I am English

but what is English culture

cus the Scots, the Irish and the…

I started writing a poetry book in lockdown about late Millennials / Generation Z, and this is one of the poems I came up with.

Yes, I wrote a poem about Pokémon … fight me.

I have burned untold days

on Leaf Green, Emerald and Heart Gold

throwing balls at battle beasts for lols

just to give myself a shock to the system

that there’s more to life than 9 to 5

kids in 2016 spoke to me about Pokémon

like they discovered it…

I wrote this piece after a fellow student on my masters course posted a poem by Palestinian-American poet-journalist Noor Hindi called ‘Fuck Your Lecture on Craft, My People Are Dying’

Additionally I also found it an incredibly sombre experience to attend a Free Palestine protest in Northampton in May 2021.

Photo by Munro Studio on Unsplash

My degree was a gentleman’s club

of dead poets. Tattooed trees planted by

corpsed hands from the Firm of

of Pitt & Pitt, an England gassed

by the Etonian variant. I wanted to pen

incantations on #MeToo and BLM

but we were forced to write about stems

and rosebuds. So…

Working with Norfamton these past weeks on the Windrush Doorstep Befriending Team, it was interesting talking to Shereen on how the original critiques of the Scandal did not go far enough in their primary challenges to the Home Office.

My family history in Britain goes back to the 1960s. L-R: Great-Grandma Toiley, Cousin Rita , Grandma Cathy, Great-Auntie Rosie, and Great-Auntie Mona (front) (Source: Noel Family Archive)

Having grown up in close proximity to the Windrush Generation as a grandchild and great-grandchild of Jamaican and Grenadian migrants, watching the crisis unravel since 2018 struck a nerve. Before my paternal Jamaican grandparents moved from Staffs to Spain, I once upon a time would have been roaming around their…

In 2016, Professor David Olusoga released his documentary series ‘Black and British: A Forgotten History.’ In episode one ‘First Encounters’, archaeologist Dr Richard Benjamin talks about how proud he is of the men that stood watch at Aballava.

Whilst watching the first episode featuring Aballava, we must acknowledge that Olusoga and Benjamin were also not the first Black and Brown scholars to discuss Black history — from J. A Rogers and his work that combatted racist views of history, to Trinidadian Ron Ramdin on the working class…

I wrote this poem inspired from a thread on Twitter I saw not long back all about the language Caribbean people use, something I have oft seen in members of the Windrush.

Source: Twitter (November, 2020)

You know your conversationalist

is a West Indian when they sit

mugging the Queen’s English

growing up I recall

my grandmother and her friends

Photo by Vladimir Soares on Unsplash

proclaiming Will Shakespeare “a jobsworth”

you know them ladies

with their diddly hands

like a cantankerous rex in the front room

instead of calling us kids rude

they would call us “boisterous youths”

Tré Ventour

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