Category Archives: CULTURE

Scotland and the Slave Trade

Slave trade - If any Slave resist their Master

On Saturday 1st December 2012, which was a very rainy day, I made my way literally down the hill to  my neighbour Hilda’s house for a barbecue !  We were not at all put off by the “cats and dogs” spectacle since it was about 19C, wet but pleasant which was very unlike the British weather.

We sat in the garden area, on the terrace, at a table bedecked with huge pint sized glasses of alcohol.  I admittedly could not manage to drink such quantities  because I’m more of a “martini and lemon person” but it was, however, a most welcome sign of a forthcoming fun-fuelled evening.

The hosts Graham was of Scotland heritage and my friend Hilda of Norwegian nationality.  My friend Maureen was also there sitting at the table and is Scottish.  The conversation was in full swing and I mentioned that my surname is Campbell which probably derives from the times of slavery.  Perhaps, not a good move to mention that but it is a most significant part of who I am and it is a fact that I know some people would rather wish never existed.  The subject was not discussed in depth but I am sure might have warranted so at another time and another place!

A week later, on Saturday 1st December,  I did some research, like I normally do and came across Jackie Kay’s Guardian article of Saturday 24th March 2007 on Scotland’s Role in the Slave Trade which makes very uncomfortable but interesting reading.

Jackie Kay on Scotland’s Role in the Slave Trade

I found it most relevant to the above conversation scenario since both my friends Maureen or Graham came from Scotland and one of them was born in Glasgow; if I remember correctly.  I had no idea that Glasgow profited from the slave trade just as much as Liverpool, Bristol and London.  Now that’s history!

Do Black People Tan


Jennifer Campbell-Klomps         Laeticia Klomps         Tobias Klomps

Do you tan?  How many people have ever asked me this question in my lifetime?  Quite a few.  I thought it was pretty obvious that “skin is skin” whether pale or dark and when exposed to the sun it will change colour.   

A few years ago, whilst holidaying in Cyprus and Turkey, temperatures soared to a scorching 45C!  If you look at my arm in the photo (left), you will see that it is darker than the shoulder, neck and face – I call that a tan – admittedly not beautifully bronzed but a tan.

Another Skin Scenario

It was a beautiful hot summer’s day in July and whilst sitting on the beach at Puerto de la Cruz, I noticed that my skin was rather dry and decided to rub a little oil into it.  My German friend Carla aware of this asked why I needed to do it and I explained the reason.  Admittedly, it would be lovely to go to the beach, sit in the sun and rub cream into my skin like everyone else without being asked why I am there and what I was doing.

Please don’t get me wrong – this is not a gripe at peoople – more a plea to accept that “black” does not mean “doesn’t need to” use make-up, oil/cream your skin or sit in the sun! 

Afro Caribbean Natural Hair

On Monday 13th August, I took my hair extensions out  and tried to brave the natural look but it didn’t work for me.  Even thought of posting up a photo but I look like someone from another planet; you just would not recognize me.

My darling daughter Laeticia plaited my hair for bed and I felt yuk and it didn’t do much for my confidence or my beauty sleep;  not because of the style but my hair is extremely dry, dull and needs a miracle.  Silk scarf is the only solution for the time being; an absolute must until I ring up my dear friend Gifty for new extensions!

If the sun decides to make an appearance – I shall absolutely roast since I feel as if I’m wearing a whopping big tea cosy on my head at the moment.

Sorry to be negative but it’s a fact.  My natural hair is difficult to handle.

From a usually positive person trying to make sense of a hair dilemma.