African & Caribbean contributor – Joel O’Loughlin

Ever cast back to a simpler time when things were black and white? Snow fell deep and Christmas meant carols and midnight mass. Mama and Papa hardly spoke to each other, punishment was licks and love was free.

Diaspora, the scattering, kidnap, rape, torture, bitter sugarland paradise. People out of place, one out of many, book of stamps nations, flotsam washed in westerly tides.

And so here we are in splendid exile, wrenching our guts to find voices that will carry back home. Africa are you listening?

Alton the hitmaker from Jamaica rocked me steady with Back to Africa. The riddim mash up mi head, open mi eye, made me yearn, made me want to go. Marcus Garvey words Mmmh Hmmn!!

Theodore Sturgeon

Jamaicans arrive in Britain. Photo courtesy

Seven miles of Black Star liners coming to take me because it cannot profit a man to gain good roads and lose his roots?

But wait! Stop that train I wanna get off its just a long way for Natty to be from home. Home weh dat? Love Africa ‘fraid Africans? Confusion!!!

What to do in European limbo out o’ space in dis place? Let me build a bridge to guide us home.