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"An oral history interview with Derrick Gayle in Cardiff, discussing his experience of growing up within a family which migrated from the Caribbean during the 1960's. “If I get rid of my patois, who would I be?”
Derrick Gayle was born in Jamaica in 1954. Around the age of 14 in 1968, he travelled to Britain to live with his mother and stepfather in England. Later, he settled in Wales.
“My grandmother was my mother all my life…There was nothing there to say ‘I remember you’… I can’t say I remember her at all before I came to England, say, 14, 15. This was the first time we met so you can imagine it was hard to settle in the house…”
“I was just cold, cold cold… for six months I had all these football scarves around me, I had chilblains when I was a kid, but every time my mum turned her back… I sat in front of fire, otherwise, ‘Let the heat spread’.”
“We were innocent…we were young Black kids and the racist vibes then were, well, ‘Rivers of Blood’ by Enoch Powell. He was the man who actually went to the Caribbean and start recruiting West Indian people to come to England. The racist thing was… this was back in 1975, we’d been in the country less than five years…”
“Outside of Wolverhampton… you get to a certain part of the town, they stone the bus, especially if they see a Black man: ‘Ah get them n***rs’.”
“They had one intention, earn money… once I came to live in Cardiff… there is a few people I know from back then who died or got killed… because of certain things that happened, that’s how it was [at] that time…”
“You’ve got to keep part of your culture. And that’s why I respect the Welsh speaking people, I know a few of them and they are top people, they got different way of thinking…”
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