|Precious Williams: (c) TV4|
Black nannies caring for white babies is a time old tradition as old as the days of slavery. And today many of the Black nannies pushing strollers with white babies in New York’s Upper West Side or the 6th Arrondisment in Paris are African immigrants. This is the image that I was most familiar with and never considered the reverse until i picked up ‘Color Blind’ by Precious Williams. Color blind is one of those books you wish was fiction, one person shouldnt have to go through so much trauma.
Color Blind is a true story about longing, isolation, and self discovery. A story about a young girl forced into foster care by a Nigerian mother who believed that learning and mastering the way of the British had more value than being raised African. So as a toddler Precious ‘Anita’ is pushed into a White, English working class family to be raised as an English girl. To this regard her mother succeeds but in the process, ‘Anita’ goes through much of her pre teens and teenage life feeling abandoned, and rejected by both worlds. She is too black to be English and to English to be Nigerian.
This is a story about mothers, daughters, inter-racial adoption, the curious relationship between Africans and their once colonial masters, and a time not so long ago when African mothers paid white women in Britain to raise their children.
Ultimately the reader is left to wonder this: Should White families adopt African babies? Is culture inate or learned?
This video is so interesting….black people in England discussing racial identity…Is a black person in England English or a Black Brit?
**Side Bar: The book is titled ‘Color Blind’ on US bookshelves and ‘Precious’ in the UK. You have to read it…It will give you a new appreciation for your mother if nothing else. I respect and adore Precious Williams for having the courage to write about her abuse and delving into events in her past for which she felt ashamed. Precious’s father, a Sierra Leonean died during the civil war. She never met him.