Australian | Jamaican

Wild Palmer.jpg

When I was dating you get asked that question a lot, “where you from?”, but they are not that direct so I would always say I was half Jamaican and half Australian but wholly human. You can have my history and where my seeds are from but I am still a human being.

I was born and raised in South London but we travelled to Australia a lot, at one point we even lived there. My grandparents always adored us, my grandmother when she saw me said, “I’ve always wanted a grandchild with brown eyes”. There were only two grand-aunts on my grandfather’s side who were racist and were never allowed to meet them, they lived in England.

When we were in England in school, I was a bit of a fairy. I felt a sense of magic and wonder about everything. I remember going to a party with these blonde girls and I wanted to have my hair out like them, my dad didn’t know what to do so he decided to tie this tiny little braid at the bottom so my hair wouldn’t get destroyed because he knew it needed to be protected. My hair was wild compared to the blonde girls with straight silky hair which was crazy but it didn’t bother me.

I remember when the Little Mermaid came out it was everything to me. Playing in the school playground I remember wanting to play Ariel but a girl said, “no you’re black so you have to be Ursula”. It broke my heart. My hair has really identified me and set me in my place. I feel that my hair has played a crucial role in my identification as being ‘different’. When white people put on an afro its always for a joke or for a party, for us when we buy hair and added it to our hair it really grated on me because of the way its seen by people who aren’t black. I think everyone is mixed race, we are all so mixed. In the next 30 to 40 years the majority of us will be mixed in one way or another and we will be able to embrace it rather than shying away from our heritage.