I am a London girl. Whilst not born, I am definitely bred. I lived in South East London for 25 years, yet six years ago, I upped and moved with my husband and newborn child to a small town in North Kent and I haven’t looked back since.
More and more minority families are moving further afield and pushing out beyond the boundaries of big cities with a large black demographic like London and Birmingham. Many do so to benefit from the decreased cost of living or increased space; others for a better choice of schools. For us, the mass exodus to Kent actually began with my folks who retired and moved to Rochester. My sister followed shortly after, and when I became pregnant with my first child, we too began looking at moving.
Kent was as far as we were willing to go as I had no interest in being a pioneer forging new territory, nor did I want my kids to be the only black ones in their class or, God forbid, their school. North Kent felt safe being only an hour’s drive from London. It was close enough to visit when I needed my big city fix, but far away enough to enjoy the benefits of distance.
And there have indeed been benefits. My kids are growing up with a garden and lots of space, something we probably wouldn’t have been able to afford in London. The pace is slower and the traffic less maddening. Knife or gang crime is also something I don’t worry about greatly.