Birmingham Black Oral History Project R1166 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 Black Role Models Carlton talks about the importance of seeing Black people succeed to inspire young Black people.
Track 2 Race Riots Carlton is asked to comment on the causes of the 'race riots' in the 1980s which he describes as an, 'uprising against deprivation'. He is asked about the impact of drugs.
Track 3 Race Riots cont. Carlton continues to talk about the 'race riots' in the 1980s and the 1981 Scarman report which explored the systemic causes behind the Brixton riots.
Track 4 Employment Carlton is asked about the relationship between education and employment. He is asked about separate religious schools.
Track 5 Religious Schools Carlton concludes the interview with his views on separate religious schools. Unfortunately, the tape is cut off before we hear the end of his answer.