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The Black Cultural Archives' Youth Forum share their thoughts on the Windrush generation

Isabelle Aron
Written by
Isabelle Aron

Three members of the Black Cultural Archives’ Youth Forum (left to right: Cartèlea Kelsie, Kyle Frank, Flourish Igwe) share what they learned about the Windrush generation through speaking to the people who were part of it. Read extracts from their interviews here.

Kyle Frank, 24

Why did you decide to get involved with the Youth Forum?

‘To be completely honest, I initially did not know what the Windrush was. We spoke about it during one of our fortnightly meetups and I learned more about it. We discussed opposing perspectives to the media headlines and I quickly became interested. I wanted to learn more about the Windrush generations’ individual experiences, feelings, dreams and if their new life in the UK lived up to their expectations. A few things I read in the media did not feel authentic enough for me. I wanted to delve deeper and speak to these people first-hand - and this opportunity with BCA allowed me to do so.’

What do you hope future generations take away from this project on Windrush?

‘I hope they endeavour to have their own opinion. This project has shown me that we can often fall blind-sighted to other perspectives surrounding a topic and in the midst of this we can often lose our own. Also to be grateful of all the opportunities around you and take action.’

Cartèlea Howell, 24

How did you get involved with the Youth Forum?

‘I made the move to the big smoke about 18 months ago and I was looking for something great to be apart of, something with a sense of identity, belonging and fun. Being part of the Youth Forum with the Black Cultural Archives has enabled me to learn more about my heritage and get to know more in-depth history.’

What do you hope future generations take away from this project on Windrush?

‘More knowledge, clarification and understanding of their background. Also to know that it’s okay to not know all of your heritage and it’s never too late to learn - it’s better to know something than to not know anything at all. Knowing your roots is everything.’

Flourish Igwe, 21

Why did you decide to get involved with the BCA?

I heard about it from my former school Lillian baylis and I thought it was a good opportunity. I wanted to learn about black history beyond what is taught in school. There are so many negative stereotypes associated with being black, so I wanted to find out about positive heroes, like the black panthers and people like Olive Morris. I also wanted to give back to the community in some way and be part of a group that’s safeguarding and securing black history and black heritage for the future generations.’

What do you hope future generations take away from this project on Windrush?

‘That their forefathers struggled for them to be in the position they are in today and to not take it for granted. They should also bear in mind that no matter what position they are today, the fight is not over. To keep their pride and identity, they need to acknowledge the past and keep looking forward to the future, taking on the strength and courage passed down to them in whatever they do.’

Find out more about the Black Cultural Archives

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