‘… we have attempted to give the visitor from the West Indies a fair and frank picture, neither too fair nor too dark, of the circumstances he will find on his arrival in this country.’
So begins ‘A West Indian in England’ by H. D. Carberry and Dudley Thompson. These Jamaican immigrants, both law students at Oxford, were commissioned by the Central Office of Information in 1949 to write a pamphlet about what those considering emigration should expect in ‘unknown and darkest England.’
The pamphlet appears in our records in draft form as part of a Colonial Office file entitled ‘Publications: Proposed Race Relations Pamphlet’ (CO 875/59/1). It followed a previously highly successful similar work, ‘England as I saw her’ written by S. O. Awokoya, a Nigerian immigrant.
The pamphlet is a fascinating read to get an insight in to how Britain was supposedly viewed by members of the colonies at this time – often with amusing outcomes: Continue reading »