Is ‘plantain’ pronounced “plant-in” or “plan-tayne”?
This is one of the more light-hearted questions fuelling the debate under the Diaspora Wars hashtag on Twitter. This is where a lot of discussion has taken place about the tensions between Black Britons and African Americans, but what about the divisions right here in the UK? As a second generation immigrant from Nigeria, I’ve witnessed firsthand the divide between West Africans and West Indians living in Britain.
“Jamo” was the word that first sparked my awareness of the disunity when I was a young child. This pejorative term for Jamaicans was banded about by those of my parents’ generation. The impression I got from the first generation Nigerians was that the Jamaicans were not as hard working, not as responsible, and that the men had a reputation of having several children with different women. However, amongst my generation, Caribbean culture was dominant.