Dr Gloria Gordon/CBACS
Welcome to the newly developing website for the Centre for British African Caribbean Studies (CBACS) and The Metanoia Project (TMP) 2007-2034… The original website was created in 2008 after its existence as a spiritual entity was acknowledged in Towards Bicultural Competence: Beyond Black and White (Gordon, 2007). CBACS was spiritually birthed post crisis in 1990 but fell into demise post 2008, once physically-birthed, the result of cultural forces impeding progress along these lines… This new website is being created, once again post crisis in 2015. Crisis in 2015 had once again spontaneously broken down the old and was ushering in the fully-fledged identity of the integrated, self-authoring/transforming British African Caribbean (BAC) identity existing at a still higher level of awareness than attained in 1990…
I am known as Dr Gloria Gordon, born in Jamaica in 1954, arriving in Britain in 1959 at the age of 5. I was joining my parents who arrived in 1954 (father) and 1958 (mother) as members of a group now referred to as the ‘Windrush Generation’. As a child of members of this group, I entered the British school system for unconscious subjection to black socialisation practices. This is as my parents were busily engaged in helping to rebuild the infrastructure of British society post WWII.
As children of the above generations, we faced developmental challenges as descendants of enslaved Africans (DoEAs) in the school system that our parents knew little about. Thirty-one years later, carrying unresolved identity-related developmental challenges, subjection to traumatic racial abuse and victimisation in the workplace, in 1990, catalysed the shattering of the ‘black’ ego-identity. In crisis, I was left with the question: who am I, if I am not black? With this outcome I was catapulted into an existential crisis of meaning. I was without authentic cultural support from an ethnic group of origin or from the ‘white’ ethnic majority. In seeking resolution to this crisis experience I accepted intuitive advice to ‘research my way out of crisis’ and to ‘learn to walk in darkness’…
The Centre for British African Caribbean Studies (CBACS) was formally founded, online, in 2007 as a research and cultural education resource centre. CBACS’ purpose is stated as that of applying the knowledge of the ages to the life experience of descendants of enslaved Africans (DoEAs). This is as a group stratified in British society as ‘black’ Caribbeans.
CBACS’ focus is on the ‘bicultural socialisation principle’ which states that to be effective in life, we need to be socialised into a culture of origin as well as a culture of residence… Research revealed that DoEAs are monoculturally socialised ‘black’ within the culture of residence of British society. Surfaced is that, having been historically removed from our culture of origin with slavery, we continue to be contained under the authority and control of the British English as ‘blacks’ relative to ‘whites’. How this is achieved is detailed on the Bicultural Competence Matrix (BCM), shared below:
The BCM, above, indicates that as DoEAs we are unconsciously contained as ‘black’ in British society. This is along the race trajectory with movement from quadrant 1 downward to quadrant 4 for maintenance in a state of cultural unconsciousness. This is whereas ethnic groups take the alternative ethnicity-based ‘bicultural socialisation’ trajectory from quadrant 1 to quadrant 2. This achieves a shift from ‘unconsciousness’ (quadrant 1) to ‘conscious awareness’ (quadrant 2).
Revealed is that from childhood, I was racially socialised for unconsciousness until crisis intervened in 1990. With crisis, I was catapulted from unconsciousness on quadrant 4, backward and upward to quadrant 2 for conscious awareness. CBACS and TMP 2007-2034 evolved from the 29-year journey pursued as I worked with surfacing issues.
As a now senior elder on the BAC life-cycle, I have, over the last 29 years, been immersed in evolving a cultural and educational legacy for DoEAs. CBACS/TMP 2007-2034 shares the ‘Cultural Literacy’ knowledge base developed over this period of time with DoEAs. This is to facilitate our transition from the status of DoEAs to that of Ascendants of Enslaved Africans (AoEA). In the process we recognise ‘race’ as a social construction, developed during slavery, and which continues to contain us today in a dysfunctional reciprocal role relating relationship, relative to the ‘white’ ethnic majority. This is an ethnic group who are themselves engaged in the bicultural socialisation process, we continue to be without…
The long term vision of CBACS, birthed through the process of identity integration, is to contribute to liberating the human potential of DoEAs in Britain. This is achieved as we collectively work through the visible and invisible legacies of slavery which continue to be transmitted into the 21st century. CBACS’ focus is threefold:
- Identifying the human costs of slavery/colonisation;
- Sharing solutions for working through identified human costs, enabling us, as human beings, to achieve Dewey’s aim of education to be ‘free within ourselves’;
- Provide ‘cultural’ education that enables us, as human beings, to finally take back control of the gift of our own lives