I found this delightful little film on youtube the other day. It is about an English village in the 1940's. What struck me in particular about it is that it has two black children in it.
Now as far as I am concerned, when I was a primary school child at about the same time as this film was made, there were no black children in England. If there had been I am certain that I would have known about it. Especially when you bear in mind that I was living in a children's home with several hundred other kids. Surely in such a situation, on the outskirts of what was then the worlds biggest city, London, one or two of its inhabitants would have been black? But no. I cannot recall any black children from that time.
So these two little black girls living in an English village must have been a very rare sight indeed, wouldn't you agree?
But now here is a strange thing. When I went to a reunion at that children's home a few years ago I was talking to a couple of blokes of my age, who had been at my primary school at the same time as me. One of them lived in the house next to to mine and the other just a few doors further down. They were very likely to have been among my playmates. What is so strange, I hear you ask? Well, the thing is, both of these men are black! Unmistakably black too. I would have sworn that I had never seen a black child there. Ever.
The point of all this, if indeed I might be trying to make one is: At what stage in our lives do we stop looking at each other as simply another person, and begin to notice differences? Perhaps more importantly, why does it happen?
Anyway here is a link to the youtube film. I am not sure if the link will work directly, but if you do want to see it I suppose you can go to youtube and type it in.