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RICHARD BLACK RETURNS TO THE UK AFTER BEING STRANDED IN TRINIDAD FOR OVER 4O YEARS DUE TO WINDRUSH SCANDAL

RICHARD BLACK RETURNS TO THE UK AFTER BEING STRANDED IN TRINIDAD FOR OVER 4O YEARS DUE TO WINDRUSH SCANDAL
UK News

RICHARD BLACK RETURNS TO THE UK AFTER BEING STRANDED IN TRINIDAD FOR OVER 4O YEARS DUE TO WINDRUSH SCANDAL

RICHARD BLACK RETURNS TO THE UK AFTER BEING STRANDED IN TRINIDAD FOR OVER 4O YEARS DUE TO WINDRUSH SCANDAL

Richard Black, who was stranded in Trinidad and Tobago for more than 40 years due to the Windrush scandal, has returned to Britain. The St Lucia born Brit came to the UK when he was just 6 years old and grew up in Notting Hill, West London.

In 1983, when Black was just 29-years-old, he had his citizenship revoked after a visit to his in-laws in the Caribbean. When Black tried to return to the UK authorities did not allow him to re-enter the country because his passport had expired. Black visited Trinidad and Tobagos high commission who informed him that his passport could not be renewed - leaving him stateless for the last 40 years.

The scandal tore Black away from his young family, separating him from his wife and daughter who remained in London. Unable to return to the UK for even a visit, Black was forced to carve out a life for himself in a foreign land and his marriage broke down as a consequence. The devastating generational impact of how the Windrush generation were treated is shown in Black’s estrangement from his daughters, who assumed Black ‘abandoned them’ after last seeing him in 1983. Black built a new life for himself in Trinidad and despite having no ancestral ties to the island, he thanked their government for giving him “shelter and sustenance when the British abandoned” him, and praised them for guiding him out of homelessness and distress. Black remarried in 2014 and provisions are reportedly being made for his new wife to live in the UK alongside him. 

Perhaps one of the most devastating separations forced by this scandal was that of Black from his mother. Black previously discussed feeling ‘suicidal’ after not being able to visit his mother ‘when she was sick’ or to ‘attend her funeral’ in 2003. Black stated that the first place he’d go upon his arrival on British soil would be to visit his mothers grave. Although Black acknowledged all the relationships that he had lost due to the enforced separation he maintained his extraordinarily hopeful spirit and stated his intention to ‘try to mend fences where they [could] be mended’. 

Richard Black's story remains an exceptionally tragic consequence of the Windrush scandal and his was not an isolated case; the scandal affected thousands, tearing many away from their homes and families and creating a generational trauma still felt today. When asked about the scandal Black made the following statement:

“I am angry at the policies enacted by the government and I’m also angry that this whole scandal affected people of colour from across the various Commonwealth countries; this seems to have been driven purely on the basis of people’s race.”

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