The British Experience

I’m now up to the section in the book titled “The British Experience”. It has brought up a point that I briefly mentioned in my review of what I had read so far.

The topic is on “hierarchy of shades”, and what was brought out in the book is that black Caribbean’s before migrating to Britain was fully dependent on the different categories of shade.
Just like throughout slavery, the lighter shades had more opportunities and were not treated as harsh as the darker shades were. Furthermore someone of a darker shade however would instantly ended up on the plantation fields and suffer a hard life. This way of life led this mentality to become the norm and was carried on by Caribbean’s years after slavery was abolished.
So when black people migrated to Britain, they were shocked to find out that:

“In the ‘Mother Country’ no regard was paid to the complex hierarchy of shades by the ‘host’ society: the pattern of racism which the Caribbean migrants experienced here did not correspond to the pigmentocracy which they left behind in the Caribbean. They were regarded monolithically as ‘coloureds’, ‘West Indians’, ‘blacks’, ‘immigrants’, and even ‘wogs’ with no reference to differential shades.” 



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