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Homecoming

Voices of the Windrush Generation
Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
Categories: History, Americas
5 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)

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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

When Colin Grant was growing up in Luton in the 1960s, he learned not to ask his Jamaican parents why they had emigrated to Britain. ‘We’re here because we’re here,’ his father would say. ‘You have some place else to go?’ 

But now, 70 years after the arrival of ships such as the Windrush, this generation of pioneers are ready to tell their stories.

Homecoming draws on over a hundred firsthand interviews, archival recordings and memoirs by the women and men who came to Britain from the West Indies between the late 1940s and the early 1960s. In their own words, we witness the transition from the optimism of the first postwar arrivals to the race riots of the late 1950s. We hear from nurses in Manchester; bus drivers in Bristol; seamstresses in Birmingham; teachers in Croydon; dockers in Cardiff; inter-racial lovers in High Wycombe, and Carnival Queens in Leeds. These are stories of hope and regret, of triumphs and challenges, brimming with humour, anger and wisdom. Together, they reveal a rich tapestry of Caribbean British lives. 

Homecoming is an unforgettable portrait of a generation, which brilliantly illuminates an essential and much-misunderstood chapter of our history. 

©2019 Colin Grant (P)2019 Penguin Audio

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We are here because you were there

This was a moving narration of many generations of people coming to the UK from the Caribbean.

My own parents and my grandparents were part of the migration. Although they rarely spoke of what they faced on arrival in the UK and the many years it took to establish themselves, I could identify with many of the stories. I witnessed and have experienced the discrimination and the quiet intolerance. I have also felt the longing for back home and the uplifting drum beats and colours that made a cold weary England tolerable. I do hope this narration gives others an understanding of why Caribbean people deemed the UK as the "Mother land", the fact they came here answering her call for help. And the disappointment they felt when the reality of life in the UK was made apparent to them.

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An Incredible Archive

This book follows the Windrush generation, detailing their journey from the West Indies to their experiences of the voyage over, first impressions of England and beyond. It has an impressive breadth of stories and people that make it entertaining and informative. All of the narrators are wonderful, would highly recommend.

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Absolutely Fantastic!

This was just like listening to my grandparents and parents speaking of home and of their experiences here in the UK.

Thank you so much for capturing their stories, for capturing our history.

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  • Fawziya
  • 13-01-20

Stories worth listening to

The narration brings the stories to life, making it worth listening to.

I’d recommend it to anyone who’d like to understand the Windrush generation and people who live in or had their parents/grandparents come from British colonies... many similarities in the way of life and community.