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Caribbean War Heroes 

Where can I find this? What is this called?

I’m curious too. Anybody know?

This was from a documentary called Divided by Race, United in War and Peace, it was filmed last year.

Here is a playlist with some samples from the documentary if anyone was curious :) it’s very enlightening.

The treatment of Afro-Caribbean people in the UK was rather strange in that while it was nowhere near the out-and-out subjugation like America, there were some levels of “them lot” but it dissipated rather fast in the coming of WWII.  Britain had a weird relationship with people “from the colonies” and there even were such things as a Pan-African conference where black people debated on British-African relations.

White American GIs however were exceptionally rude and pretty awful in how they treated British people as basically little lapdogs who didn’t understand how the world worked by letting “such people” have the same status.

There were even pamphlets given to white Americans before coming over to the UK to not be shocked by “how things are different over there, such as their treatment of coloured people being different from ours”.

One famous story I remember hearing was some American GIs went into a pub, and saw some black people to one side just chilling, so one of the GIs go up to the barman and ask “excuse me could you do something about…them?”

“Why?”

“We don’t want to be seated anywhere near them.”

“No problem sir.”

Two minutes later the barman scribbled a sign saying NO WHITES ALLOWED and forced the GIs to sit outside.

Britain wasn’t always better about treating non-white people (obviously) but we dropped our prejudices a hell of a lot faster than the Americans did in WWII since basically the US were latecomers to the party that kinda didn’t give a shit until Pearl Harbour.  THEN they got stuck in, whereas Britain had been stuck in the dirt from the beginning of the war and once we realised we had allies across Europe, we kinda had to open ourselves up to befriending other nationalities and races to fight against the Axis.

The significant difference to remember is that prejudice in Britain was the common-or-garden kind found all over the world, in which different groups of people are suspicious or ignorant of each other according to religion/appearance/customs. etc., and it gives way if people meet, mix, and get to know each other, or find common ground. But racism in America was special in that white Americans invented White Supremacy, where it became part of their ingrained culture, laws, and taught history. What’s more, America’s exporting their concept of White Supremacy fed and informed Hitler’s ideology - the Nazi racism on steroids which the British and their allies of all colours (like the West Indian heroes in this documentary) were fighting. So any whiff of it from White Yanks was as popular as dog turd.

America didn’t just make pamphlets about the different attitude to race for its soldiers posted to Britain. There is a World War II information film made by the US military, in which they warn their GIs of Britain’s lack of “morality” because the British have no racial segregation. There is one hilarious scene in which a black American GI and a white American GI find themselves sitting next to each other in a compartment on a British train, and a little old English lady invites them both home for tea, and the movie warns the white American that in England this kind of shocking behaviour is to be expected.

BTW - right to fuck on and some of those men are still alive. It was one of the greatest honours of my teenage years to be in the same Remembrance Day parades as them. Seeing a whole parade ground come to a salute as a little group of old men march by will give you goosebumps.

P.S Don’t even get me started on how the GIs stationed on naval bases in the Caribbean behaved. The British were never that bad.

P.P.S Fuck me… The first Prime Minister of Barbados is in the second to last gif. Front row, on the left, very dark skin, very big nose. That baby boy, (look at him, he was a baby) would grow up to be a giant.

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