It’s hard to give a sense of oneself in a short profile. Labels that could be applied are Black, lesbian, feminist, socialist, disabled, but these are ones I would only use about myself in terms of necessary solidarity with others. I don’t let them define me.
Loves – the woman I’ve been with for a very long part of my life, my friends, soul music, the beauties of the world, people’s capacity for kindness, wisdom, warmth and making a positive contribution to their community.
Hates – Discrimination, injustice, gossips, people’s disrespect of themselves and others and of the world that we share. In my interview, I tried to give an outline of my professional life as a lawyer, researcher, guidance counsellor, equality trainer educational adviser and some framework for these areas of work.
All have been guided by activism to try to make things better because in my philosophy I can’t see anything that can be more important to achieve in life. I’ve not always been successful, but try not to feel guilty about that because I’ve always tried my best – a drive gifted to me by my parents.
Along with them, I have had the benefit of knowing so many gifted, wise and generous-spirited people who have helped me along the way. All my adult life I have been a trade unionist and have a strong belief that working people and those without work can use their collective power to topple self-interested individuals who have allied themselves to control the world’s wealth, resources and media.
We can have a fairer world! I’m glad to be a part of this initiative. It’s vital to record, retain and make available and celebrate the story of our lives and contribution as people of Africa and African descent. So I would urge you to retain your family mementoes and records, we need them to celebrate our survival and achievements and to help to guide us into the future.