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Let's calm down that passion and eccentricicty

STYLE AND FASHION: It was like a fashion parade when the first arrivals from the Caribbean stepped off the SS Windrush in 1948

THE PROBLEMS for our daughters is that they have too much ‘passion’ and ‘eccentricity’. And they just can’t help falling in love.

And the traffickers know it.

There’s nothing wrong with passion and eccentricity. Dare I say it’s an African thing, from way back. Read about the Nubians and the Kushites and the Yorubas and the Shaka-Zulus and you’ll know what I mean. Check the movie Zulu Dawn with Michael Caine if you don’t believe me.

All the British soldiers in their fancy dress were looking for was a fight. A fair fight. But those Zulus brought ten thousand more warriors (call that fair?) and then they had to be so ‘extra’ with their amateur dramatics before the slaughter at Rorke’s Drift. That’s passion and eccentricity.

You can hear it in the way we talk and see it in the way we walk. We live and breathe passion and eccentricity.


It got us through those dark days of enslavement.

In exaggerating the way the masters of enslavement spoke, for example, we mocked him. Cold comfort considering the circumstances, but comfort nonetheless. That bequeathed a passionate and eccentric ‘exaggeration’ in our speech. And even today we cringe when a black man speaks like a white man without a hint of the passion and eccentricity that was his inheritance.

It don’t sit right. We know dat. A black man or woman without passion and eccentricity is like a candle in the wind.

But sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. Indeed some of our daughters today could do with a love of correction. Cos their passion and eccentricity is outta control. And when a sweet-talking guy with a sweet-talking eye drops a kiss, some of our daughters would take a grenade for them. Without a serenade from them.

Guys nowadays know dat. And it’s like we allow dat cos we dun know already about our daughters’ passion and eccentricity from the way. The moment they hit 13, they talk to us like we and dem are friends and threaten to leave home if they can’t go for a simple latte and a milkshake with the resident bad man.

You hear how some of these youngers speak. And you got to love them for it. I love the way they shout and the way they shriek out on street and how they tell any and any man dem that they ain’t having it, not a bar of it. Not a fifty pence piece of it.

Cos black girls have got to be strong. Stronger than their bruvvas. And there is strength in that there passion and eccentricity. A lotta strength. Didn’t our parents and their parents before them show that strength when they arrived here in that flotilla of banana boats from Africa and the Caribbean to the ‘Motherland’?

Look on You Tube if you don’t believe me. The 491 Caribbean men who disembarked from the Windrush in June 1948 were dressed like they were going to the Oscars in flashy zoot suits and sharp hats. It was like a fashion parade. Britain had never seen anything like it because they had no idea that we were so eccentric. And given half a chance we would dress for dinner to go to work. And Britons must have wondered, when the one woman onboard stepped down the gangway, whether the Queen was black.

The passion speaks for itself. It takes a lot of guts and passion to come across the seas to an unknown world as a 20 year old. And even more so in those days.

The problems for our daughters is that there are too many wolves (not even in sheep’s clothing) out there ready to exploit that excess of passion and eccentricity… And the fact that they just can’t help falling in love with it.


Cos what I’m hearing is that there is an ‘epidemic’ currently of our daughters being trafficked out of our cities and into the country to hold down a shottas network of rural supplies. Years ago if you lived up country you had to hit the big city for your stash. Now many of the shottas are moving their trade out of the big heat of the capital and into the shires. And they’re using the passion and eccentricity of our daughters love to hold down their ‘tings’.

That’s people trafficking by any other name. Don’t it?

And yet, if it wasn’t for that passion and eccentricity our daughters would not be the wonderful and vibrant people that they are. Do you think Beyonce would be where she is today without that passion and eccentricity? Or Michelle Obama? Or Diane Abbott?

The pertinent conundrum for us mothers and fathers is how can we get our daughters to moderate their passion and eccentricity when it comes to wotless liaisons without stifling their passion and eccentricity? How can we channel their passion and eccentricity positively?

I guess what I’m saying is how do we stop them from being too black? How do we stop our daughters from being victims of that inner blackness we call passion and eccentricity?

It’s a slightly different problem for boys. Their passion and eccentricity is mixed with their hormones raging in all the wrong places.

That’s why they’ve got to cool down their tempers by keeping their passion on one side of town and their eccentricity on the other side of town so that when one of them kicks off they’ve got to travel across town to reach the other part of the equation. And hopefully, by the time they’ve reached (and as long as nobody moves nobody gets hurt) they have lost the excess of passion or the eccentricity which, with those raging male hormones, are a volatile mix.

Yet when it comes to our daughters, some of our boys are prepared to turn ‘up farmer’ men for a hustle. Dear oh dear. That ain’t right.

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