reply to post by Wotaneyed
It's funny you should say that. Poverty can have a detrimental influence on potential success; johnnywhite
provided evidence, and it seems
you've ignored it. You gave an anecdote about the fruits your parents' thrift, so I don't understand why you can't believe that someone at the
bottom has the exact same chances as that someone on the top (save genetics).
My parents are both second generation British Afro-Caribbeans, born and raised in 60s London, amidst the era of "Keep Britain White" and "No
Blacks, No Irish and No Dogs". Neither went further than secondary school education. My Mum was accepted to a design college but chose a well-paying
data entry job instead, while my Dad completed training for the Merchant Navy, but fell into another crowd and ended up working a few jobs before
settling into bus driving.
Bus driving, I believe, is ultimately what made our family! My parents both got free transport passes, (as did my maternal grandparents, Granddad was
also a driver) meaning they paid diddly-squat for travel. That means a hell of a lot in London. With Mum being the frugal type as well, that money got
saved, as did most of their earnings.
Money that many parents would spend on toys and designer clothes was used for extracurricular activities and any (somewhat educational) interests that
my and I held. My parents didn't receive housing or child benefits (although UK domiciles do get a certain amount of child tax credit I think,
different thing), but they did well without it. They taught us the value of hard work, of education, and responsibility of wealth. Guess what? They
weren't the only ones. There were several black families in our downtrodden area that did the same thing. But they all had at least one perk.
The African and Afro-Caribbean communities in the UK run on adversity. The word 'community' therefore is a misnomer. As a group, we do not care for
each other. There are rivalries depending on which tribe you come from if you're from the same African region as your adversary. Just African? Then
it's West vs East. The Caribbean countries have disputes depending on which island you're from. Larger islands mock smaller islands. Smaller islands
mock everyone. Everyone distrusts Jamaicans, and Jamaicans love to live up to it because it's so damn hilarious.
Now South Asian and East Asian communities suffer the same fate, but here's where they differ from their black counterparts. When you whittle them
down to the lowest common denominator, they'll stick together. Bangladeshis help each other out. Kashmiris help each other out. Cantonese, Vietnamese
and so on.
Why does this happen? I can only give you a hypothesis based on what I know about patterns of immigration. Save a couple London boroughs, black
immigration between the 40s and 60s was sparsely distributed across the country. So discounting cultural centres like Brixton (which has problems of
its own) it was rare for blacks to set up sizable communities. South Asians, for example, were migrating already, but only came in larger waves during
the early 70s.
With stronger memories of their pre-colonial cultural identities as compared to Caribbeans, they were more accustomed to settling in more nucleated
patterns. In time, they were in control of the small-scale economic circulation within their own communities, giving parents even more time to focus
on the improvement of their children's social standing, rather than simply working to survive. The only difference between this kind of community and
a ghetto is unity, plain and simple.