Celebrating my heritage at the Maritime Museum felt surreal. I’ve visited the museum on school trips, taken my daughter and nieces on day trips, and created arts and crafts. But today, I felt different from entering from the carpark. I could see globes on the grass, and I could hear the drums tapping out their rhythms and the songs. Headwraps and national dress in abundance. Families every shade of brown, young and old sharing the same space.
I looked over the balcony, and I saw Baroness Floella Benjamin arrive. She attempted to get from A to B, but she couldn’t move two steps without being stopped for pictures. I remembered how much I looked forward to Playschool and PlayAway because I saw someone who looked like me. It was great to see her so loved by her community.
The World Map was hidden by the crowds waiting for soca and calypso dancing it was joyous that pounding beat. The crowd bounced, nodded and moved to the rhythm of the drum.
The last thing I saw was the Quadrille my Jamaican friends were really excited. it was a dance they learnt in school. The dance reminded me of Country Dancing we learnt in primary school. It was very gentle and entertaining.
The Takeover day brought people from all corners of London with its diverse communities. For once, I didn’t feel like the odd one out – thousands of people who looked like me, shared the same cultural background and heritage