Samara Linton| What Cambridge has Taught Me about Representation


Flashback fifteen years or so and you would find me laughing with my family, frying fish by the riverside. Moving from the Jamaican countryside to inner-city London was a time I could probably write a novel about, but moving from London to Cambridge, a decade later, was an equally defining experience in my life.

It may seem ridiculous, but before Cambridge, I had not really thought about the fact that I was a working-class, black woman. I was Jamaican, my best friends were Chinese and Pakistani and Zimbabwean and Ethiopian, but in Cambridge, our differences paled to insignificance when we stood alongside the white, middle-class majority.

I quickly realised that being a working-class, black woman meant something. I initially felt the need to disguise my ignorance of this new world but it was quickly exhausting. I got tired of feigning laughter at cheese jokes (no, I’d never heard of Camembert)…

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