Birmingham Black Oral History Project R1165 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 Caribbean Rivalry cont. Carlton continues to talk about rivalry and ideas of superiority between groups of people in the Caribbean.
Track 2 Poverty Carlton responds to a question about poverty in Jamaica.
Track 3 Welfare State Carlton responds to a question about the Welfare State and then considers his own identity.
Track 4 Identity Carlton continues to consider his identity and returning to live in Jamaica
Track 5 Racism The conversation moves back to race, Carlton responds to a question about race, class and education.
Track 6 Racism cont. Carlton continues to talk about racism, his experiences and discusses potential reasons for prejudice. Warning: Explicit Racial Language
Track 7 Racism cont. Carlton continues to talk about racism, he is asked if he has any 'racial prejudices'.
Track 8 Racism cont. Carlton is asked about 'reverse discrimination', the relationship between race and politics. He then talks about his children and their future.
Track 9 Children cont. Carlton continues to talk about is children and their experiences of racism. He is then asked about the upcoming formation of the European Union.
Track 10 European Union cont. Carlton continues to talk about the upcoming formation of the European Union and the impact on teaching.