James Berry's notebook containing ‘My father’s non-interest in education’

Description

James Berry came to Britain on the SS Orbita in 1948. These notes were written in preparation for his poetry collection, Windrush Songs (2007).

‘My Father’s Non-Interest in Education’ (image 6)

As a child Berry was angered by his father’s lack of interest in his children’s education, but he came to see this as a symptom of colonial society which kept people in ignorance of their past. Though Berry grew up in the shadow of a former slave plantation, he learnt nothing about Caribbean history at school. Berry’s awakening came when he travelled to the US and witnessed the ‘terrible humiliations’ of black people in the south.

Other notes feature headings such as ‘My Response to England’, ‘Arrival in England’ and ‘The Battles We’ve Won against Slavery and Racism are not Victories Only for Black People’. Some pages feature text snippets that have been cut out from elsewhere and stuck into this collection – a method Berry often used, particularly in his preparatory work.

Full title:
James Berry Notebook, from the James Berry Archive
Format:
Manuscript / Notebook
Creator:
James Berry
Copyright:
© James Berry: The Estate of James Berry
Usage terms

You may not use the material for commercial purposes. Please credit the copyright holder when reusing this work. 

Held by
British Library
Shelfmark:
James Berry Archive (James Berry Notebook, Dep 10691 from Box 2)

Related articles

An introduction to James Berry's Windrush Songs

Article by:
Hannah Lowe
Theme:
Exploring identity

Windrush Songs was published in 2007, by which time James Berry had been living in England for close to 60 years. Hannah Lowe explores how Berry’s collection negotiates the symbol of the Empire Windrush and positions post-war migration within the legacies of slavery and colonialism.

Caribbean anti-colonial activists in Britain before World War Two

Article by:
Hakim Adi
Themes:
Authors, artists and activists, Waves of history

At the turn of the 20th century, colonialism meant that colonial subjects did not have the right to determine their own future. Hakim Adi introduces us to Pan-Africanism and some of the key figures and organisations who campaigned against colonialism and racism before the outbreak of World War Two.

Caribbean Artists Movement (1966–1972)

Article by:
Errol Lloyd
Theme:
Authors, artists and activists

The Caribbean Artists Movement (CAM) was born with the aim of celebrating a sense of shared Caribbean ‘nationhood’, exchanging ideas and forging a new Caribbean aesthetic in the arts. Errol Lloyd, an artist and member of CAM, explores the Movement's origins, work and legacies. 

Related collection items