Aneita from London is a single mum to her one child, Olivia aged 7. She was born and raised in the east end of London. Aneita works part time as an administrator and is also studying at university for a psychosocial degree.
My name is Aneita and I am a single parent to one child, Olivia aged 7.
I am of mixed heritage, my father was Jamaican and my mother was Irish, they have both passed now. I was raised in a single parent household headed by my mother who unfortunately teaching us anything related to black history was not part of our growing up, I have 4 siblings.
I remember once being with my best friend at The Notting Hill Carnival and we were looking at some books on a stall and I suddenly became upset and said to her “I don’t know who I am, who I am supposed to be” for some reason it really hit me at that moment that I was confused about me. It just felt so real that I had grown up feeling that way, there was no one around me to teach me anything and felt overwhelmed looking at the books. She is still my best friend today and she has inspired me so much over the years that today I can honestly say I know who I am and I am comfortable with me, I think age does that to you.
Growing up I was and still am a big fan of TV especially movies and music and I feel this is where most of what I learned about my identity and who and what I related to was learned from, I watched TV shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Desmonds, Different Strokes, The Color Purple, The Help and Roots and more recent years Madea. I loved and connected more of history, racism, love, spirituality and strength through these channels. Also reading Maya Angelou poems, she was such a moving woman and had the most amazing voice and her words were powerful.
One of the things I love to do with my daughter is to take her to Ridley Road Market and also to our favourite Jamaican café in Roman Road where we sit and eat our Jamaican patties. She loves to hear their accents and being a part of the joyous, vibrant and lively atmosphere, she is not exposed to that at home or the area we live in so it’s nice for her to hear that is how grandad spoke and I see the pride in her as she was less than a year old when he passed so she has no memories of him, just some photos, I tell her stories about him and she is keen to connect to her heritage, especially food wise as I tell her “that was grandad’s favourite”. My daughter watches The Fresh Prince now and it has been a good opportunity to talk with her about issues that she has questions about.
I have learnt that Black history is not just a month of celebration, it is a celebration every hour, day, month and year of the past but also the future. I am proud of my heritage.
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