Black lives matter
My story began when I was adopted as an infant by a white, middle-class family and raised in a predominantly white area in the late 70s\80s. This resulted in me feeling as though I was permanently being judged. There is no other way to say it, I was made to feel ashamed of my skin colour. I was bullied through primary school, called a P*** and had white paint poured all over me which led to my being removed from the Primary school altogether.
The kids from this school knew where I lived and when I was 11 years old they followed me home from the park, calling me various names and kicking both me and my dog. Going back to being in Primary school, I was pouring talcum powder over my face, bleaching my skin and I even remember going on holiday once, it was sunny outside and so naturally I became darker skinned. I came down to breakfast in the morning and my mum had asked me what I had done to myself (I had talcum powdered my face because I didn't want to go to school dark).
I then spent a number of years in a children's home until I was fostered at 16/17 by a West Indian women, which at first I will admit I found difficult because I had been indoctrinated by a white family for most of my childhood resulting in my feeling rather fearful to go and live with my new foster mum (as crazy as that sounds, given that I myself am mixed race but that just goes to show how much of an impact your upbringing has on you).
I was welcomed into this family, embracing their amazing West Indian culture and that love of a large, united family which is something that I had never experienced before. I felt for the first time in my life completely and utterly accepted. It didn't stop there however, throughout all of my adult life there have been occasions where I have been told on the street or in the supermarkets to "go back to my own country", called racist names and other various other incidents.
I love who I am now.
Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries and without them HUMANITY cannot survive.