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An oral history interview with Alexander Broodie in Cardiff, discussing his experience of growing up within a family which migrated from the Caribbean during the 1950s.

“We just left home blind, like blindfolded, you going into a land of nowhere, you don’t know where you going, wherever the wind blew, you happy with it…”

Alexander Broodie was born in Antigua, West Indies in January 1925, and he came to Britain by boat in 1955. Much of his story is tethered to the slave trade.

“The slave master, he name was Broodie… my father then was ‘Adams’, I don’t carry his name… I came over [to Britain] and I send him some money… water came from his eyes… because he think I were gonna’ carry his name, but I couldn’t carry his name…”

“Work was very hard [in Antigua], and you work for nothing much, I used to, make ends meet, I used to cut hair like a barber, [also] used to work aboard a steamer… pick up the cargo and drop it in the boat and we take it ashore… they come for the sugar.”

“When I came, you know what my first job was? Carrying iron, on my shoulder… you know, they melt it and they pound it… I left, from there I went to a timber yard… these are the worst jobs, as I said, the job that the white people don’t want…”

“What I was getting, £8 a week… With the £8, I save £5… I put it down there [savings] ,£3 left, £1 for my rent, another £1 for my pocket money and another £1 food…”

“I put it down to providence guide your hand, providence seem like it guide my hand, it happened to me lots, lots, lots…”

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