Dr Pamela Franklin was born in the early 1960s in Brixton to parents of Barbadian heritage.  Her career as a IT trainer was interrupted in 2011/2012 when she took ill and ended up with a serious spinal disability.  The Caribbean Social Forum, of which she is now the Chair, was officially launched on 29 January 2015.  The forum, which developed organically and started with just twelve people, has now grown to over 600 members.  Pamela’s interview addresses various topics that relate directly to the formation of the Caribbean Social Forum: the importance of their self-reliance and involvement in various activities including the take-over of the National Maritime Museum, and the national awards the forum has received.  She also talks about her personal/family background, recalling the moment in the 1980s, when her mother obtained a passport. As a child she’d found her mother’s need for a passport amusing and had teased her:  ‘You don’t need a passport to go on a bus’. Reflecting on the Windrush Scandal she notes that not enough guidance was offered on what people needed to do to regularise their status.  Many people had presumed they were fine ‘because they were paying their taxes, they had a national insurance number and they had their own house’.  She goes on to explain how she first became aware of the Windrush Scandal and what action she took in order to make sure all the members of the Caribbean Social Forum would be protected from deportation.

Following are two excerpts from the interview that was conducted on 31st March 2022 at the Caribbean Social Forum in Woolwich.  In the first, you’ll hear her views on the term ‘Windrush Generation’: ‘Windrush is a boat, it’s not a people’. In the second excerpt, her view on the changing immigration and nationality legislation and how it makes some people of Caribbean-descent feel: ‘Black is your nationality’.   

Interview by Juanita Cox

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