Chapter 1: Royal

Ain’t no Black or White

…I was also to find out that this attitude was common across Africa where it is said that in years gone by albinos were either killed or abandoned in the bushes. There is an anecdote that these albinos, red skinned, freckled and red-haired migrated out of Africa, northwards to cooler climes, mutated and diversified further into modern day Europeans who came back thousands of years later to give us a good kicking. The myth of the fiery, angry red-head, if this yarn is to the believed, hails back to the treatment they received at the hands of their ancestors. A question of karma or what!

On my part, I had read enough, studied enough and observed enough to know that I had no issues with people of other ‘races’; to understand the breadth and wealth of African history and what had happened to my ancestors; to comprehend other people’s history enough to believe that the African experience was not unique to Africans. Individuals and groups were part of the cycle of human history; and where we were born in that cycle, the time, place and gender, for example, shaped in large measure the type of experiences we were destined to have. I wasn’t sure about the reasons why, but that would be for another day. I was confident in my abilities as a human being and confident in my knowledge that human beings, the world over, were the same. I suppose I came back to London with a sense that no human being was superior to another human being. People may have superior knowledge, be born into privilege, hold different beliefs and grow up with different values; but it does not make them any more or less human. I am not sure where this knowledge came from. It was crude, yet to be refined; but it was there, and it equipped me for my return to London. It was this, perhaps, that made Philip think that I was Royal…

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