Mary Stennett's story
On Windrush Day 2019 the Learning Links International team and the North Wales Jamaica Society, supported by Bangor Council, marked the recognition of the Windrush Generation with a Jamaican Breakfast held in Penryhn Hall, Bangor on 22nd June, recognising the innovative link developed by Bangor Council and Clarendon Council in Jamaica and the developing community links.
The focus of the event was to remember Mary Stennett and those other women who became the wives of the Windrush pioneers in Post War days, recognising the significant challenges that were faced by mixed race couples.
Yasus Afari, founder of the long running Jamaica Poetry Festival, toured Wales in October 2019 as part of the Black History Month activities and was able to lay the foundation for the "Geriau Windrush Words" project, to create poetry and reggae tracks to be used in future on occasions when the people all across Wales pause to remember all that our country owes to others for their hard work and the willing offers to help rebuild Britain after the Second World War. The project will explore ways using poetry to include recognition of the Black Servicemen and Sailors in both WW1 and WW2.
The poetry will also recognise the challenges that created Windrush Day, when the British Government had to apologise to so many who came to the UK, generation after generation, to work and bring up their families and yet were treated so badly.
In addition the poetry will recognise the vast wealth generated for the landed gentry of Wales and England by enslaved Africans toiling on plantations producing sugar and other commodities wearing cloth woven in Wales and England and working in sugar boiling houses using huge copper vessels produced in Swansea.
Learning Links International was invited to to submit a proposal to take forward our ideas to engage Jamaican and Welsh poets to tell the stories of the Windrush Generation in Wales.