During the interview I asked June-Elizabeth: ‘When did you realise there was an issue with the citizenship status of Black people in Britain?’  She explained she had attended a meeting in Harrow Road about the New Nationality Bill following an advert she’d seen in the Voice Newspaper (in 1980).  She couldn’t recall all the details of the meeting but had been struck by something the Minister had said – listen to audio clip 1 and then audio clip 2.

One week after the meeting, the Voice paper reported:

‘If you were born here, you no longer have to pay £50.’ While she personally didn’t end up having to taken any action, she notes: It affected me and it’s always stayed with me.’ […]‘I’m not really accepted, they can play with me…[…] [T]hey can play bouncy ball, ping pong with my life.’

From that day in 1980 I realised that elders need help with the paperwork’. 

June-Elizabeth has been an activist ever since and would travel with sound systems across the country, using it as an opportunity to warn people about the changing immigration and citizenship legislation.

Interview by Juanita Cox