This morning I listened to the Book of the Week, Margo Jefferson’s  ” Negroland”.  This book is written from two different view-points, the view of the child Margo as she lived it and the adult view of the woman who can put her understanding of a wider society and is able to step back from her own experiences and explain her parents behaviour to her younger self.  This book is elegantly written  and had a powerful impact on me.  There are significant differences as well as considerable points of similarity in our stories.

   Margo grew up in Chicago in the 1950s, I grew up in Sunderland also in the 1950s.  Margo grew up in a middle class prosperous household, I grew up in a poor working class home.  We both had parents who wanted the best for us.  Margo is black and I am white.  We had no television set as a child, we listened to the radio.  I was an early member of the library and my greatest pleasure was reading books and listening to the radio.  I lived in a modern house with a bathroom, it was equipped with hot water and electricity, I shared a bedroom with my younger sister.  Every school day I caught a bus to take me into town, then in town I got on a second bus to take me to the school. I had a free pass so my journey didn’t cost me anything.  I had a school dinner which was the part of the day I liked least.  It was a state school so my parents had nothing to pay.  I liked most of the lessons, two I didn’t like were mathematics and sewing

    At the time I didn’t realise that in fact I was a very lucky girl, many girls in other parts of the world do not get the chance to go to school and some are married off while they are still children.




4 thoughts on “GROWING UP.

  1. How fascinating, it’s always surprising how well kids from poor families turn out compared to many who were born with a silver soon in their mouth. xxx

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s