I came to England in the early 1960’s at the age of 12 to join my mother. The experiences of those early years in a Britain ‘struggling’ to deal with the influx of invited, but unwelcomed Africans and African – Caribbeans, informed my academic choices and community involvement. After initial Teacher Training in Brighton, Sussex, it was back to the East End of London working and living in the Borough of Newham. Throughout the 1970’s I became active both professionally and voluntarily in helping to improve educational standards for Black Children; working within multicultural and anti-racist projects; sitting on advisory boards for both the statutory and voluntary sectors; supporting the setting up of several educational fora and Saturday/ Supplementary schools in and around London.
This is also the period when the Women’s Movement was in full swing and I helped to launch OWAAD (Organisation of Women of African and Asian Descent) and, subsequently co-founded ELBWO (the East London Black Women’s Organisation) in 1979 which still operates to this day. It was then a natural progression to be a Spokesperson on behalf of Black (African Descent) Women and Children – reporting as part of a delegation to various Government Committees and attending the United Nations World Conferences on Women.
The founding of Operation Sankofa: ‘I want one just like me!’ during this retirement phase, allows time for me to ‘put my money where my mouth is’ in my passion for promoting and celebrating Black Dolls as a continuation of the true commitment to uplifting African and Caribbean People’s heritage.