Arthur France MBE



Community Hero

Arthur France MBE My name is Arthur France and I was born in Nevis the sister island of St. Kitts. I was privileged to be educated in the Caribbean. I was also very fortunate to have loving, caring parents. In our community we had an excellent, second to none, education system that helped me to achieve most of the goals I had hoped to achieve.

I was born into a very religious Christian family. We were taught not be blinded religion. I too was very religious and was very positive about myself.

As an African born in the Caribbean I take my race and my heritage very seriously, and that is what drives me.

When I left the Caribbean and came to England (in fact many of us left and came to England) it was more as an adventure because as we were growing up in the British Caribbean, all of the history of Britain was forced into our minds.

Arthur France MBE

This led us to believe that England was a place we should all visit, however most of us were very disappointed when we came here.

It was cold, not just physically, the people were very cold, unwelcoming and hostile towards us as black people. But because we came from religious backgrounds we were very focused and were able to rise above ignorance and racism and move on. Even finding accommodation was difficult so we had to make do with what we had. We met other people of African Caribbean descent and we worked together.

We then joined other people from the wider network of African Caribbean and other descendents. People from the Caribbean are very racial (there are many different races and nationalities in the Caribbean) and because of this we found we could live and work well together.

We lived, went to church got jobs, found accommodation (sometimes it was just a room with a bed and a chair) we had little house parties.

However, coming from the Caribbean we like to have fun sometimes.

Arthur France MBE

At that time all we had was going to work, going to church and the little dances. I just could not understand it – ‘is this all that we are going to do?’

We needed more than that.

My sister introduced me to an organisation named ‘Caribbean, African and Asian Society’ and they used to put on dances but we still needed more than that.



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