Birmingham Black Oral History Project R1172 Oral History Interview – Ryland Campbell 09/09/1991 – 14/09/1991 Interviewee: Ryland Campbell Interviewer: Doreen Price
This is an oral history interview with Ryland Campbell, recorded in 1991, as part of the Birmingham Black Oral History Project (BBOHP), discussing his life in Jamaica and the UK.
Ryland was mainly raised by his aunt in Jamaica as his mother was young and worked away in Kingston. He talks about not having a father in his life and the difficulties this caused him. His mother decided to emigrate to England and later sent for Ryland. He arrived in 1952 and began working as a bus conductor for Midland Red. As a young man he married his wife Margret, a midwife, and they had two children. He talks about the difficulties of being in a mixed-race relationship at the time. Ryland talks at length about the Handsworth Riots and performs some of his songs and poetry.
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 Prejudice cont. Ryland continues to talk about his experiences of colour prejudice and discrimination in culture and society.
Track 2 Heritage and Language Ryland discusses the history and ancestry of Jamaica and people coming from Britain and Africa. He also talks about different languages used by Jamaicans. Warning: Explicit Racial Language
Track 3 Relationships and Wartime Ryland talks about his relationships and friendships with other children as a teenager. He then discusses living during the Second World War.
Track 4 Wartime and Politics Ryland continues talking about shopping during the war and then discusses his early experiences of politics.
Track 5 Social Class and Religion Ryland discusses his views on social class and religion.
Track 6 Religion cont. Ryland recalls stating to ask questions about religion while at school.
Track 7 Gender Ryland talks about his views of gender and gender differences in society.
Track 8 Gender cont. Ryland talks about women in employment when he was younger in Jamaica.
Track 9 Employment Ryland discuss some of his first jobs, including working in a garage, as an electrician and as a commercial painter.
Track 10 Employment cont. Ryland continues talking about his job as a sign painter and the lessons he learned from it. Warning: Explicit Language