Birmingham Black Oral History Project R1162 Oral History Interview – Carlton Duncan 11/06/1991 Interviewee: Carlton Duncan Interviewer: Doreen Price
This is an oral history interview with Carlton Duncan, recorded in 1991, as part of the Birmingham Black Oral History Project (BBOHP), discussing his life in Jamaica and the UK.
Carlton is well known for his 30-year career as a teacher, becoming Britain’s first Black Headteacher of a Secondary school in 1982. Carlton arrived in England on 10th January 1961, travelling on an Italian ship called the TS Escania. He describes his arrival as being a ‘major disappointment’ and goes on to discuss his education and early years as a teacher. He had a 10-year career as a professional dancer, travelling across Europe while still attending University in Swansea. Carlton describes the extensive racism and abuse he experienced throughout his teaching career and in his personal life.
These recordings include racially explicit content, including discussions of racism, prejudice and violence; racially explicit language; and language and phrasing that we would not use today. Some of this content might be unsuitable for younger listeners or triggering for People of Colour. We recommend reading the description for each track before choosing to listen.
Track 1 First Marriage Carlton talks about his first marriage to Bronwyn.
Track 2 First Marriage cont. Carlton talks about the breakdown of his first marriage.
Track 3 Career Carlton talks about the end of his dance career and continues to talk about his teaching career.
Track 4 New Job Carlton talks about his relationship with his then Headteacher whose behaviour prompted him to apply for a new job.
Track 5 Meeting Satwinder Carlton talks about meeting his second wife Satwinder and the difficulties starting a relationship with a Sikh girl.
Track 6 Meeting Satwinder cont. Carlton continues to talk about his second wife and the early days of their relationship. Fearing an arranged marriage Satwinder left her family to be with Carlton.
Track 7 Meeting Satwinder cont. Carlton continues to tell the story of Satwinder. Her family involve the police and Carlton is taken in to custody
Track 8 Meeting Satwinder cont. Carlton continues to tell the story of Satwinder. He discovers her family bribed a police officer to arrest Carlton and took Satwinder back home.
Track 9 Meeting Satwinder cont. Carlton continues to tell the story of Satwinder. After 2 months Carlton finally hears from Satwinder again and arranges for her to come to Coventry.
Track 10 Meeting Satwinder cont. Carlton continues to tell the story of Satwinder. Helped by a friend Carlton and Satwinder are finally married but her family track them down again.