My Coconut Trees by Shanice Lindsay
Published by Croydon Supplementary Education Project, 2018
My Coconut Trees is an intriguing story of bravery and survival spanning Africa, Jamaica and England. It narrates the generational life story and life experiences of a family who were kidnapped and taken from Africa to Jamaica. We gain insights into the shocking but true and harsh realities of slavery on the Caribbean plantations in Jamaica and journey with them at the forefront of the battlefields for freedom. The story portrays the optimistic mindset of the enslaved Africans who, despite their circumstances, had their future generations in mind. Their optimism and determination was a driving force in their unrelenting resistance to slavery. It was these attributes that enabled them to achieve the liberation that many of their embattled colleagues did not live to enjoy. The baton of resistance and determination was passed on to the next generation and then came the Windrush generation who were a hard-working God-fearing force. This generation was determined to carve out a much-improved standard of living for themselves and their family, In 1948 the British government requisitioned workers from the Caribbean to come and work to rebuild the country. England had been devastated during the second World War. It was a war in which tens of thousands of people from the Caribbean had also joined the military to fight and die alongside the British soldiers in defense of the Mother Country. England was known as the Mother Commonwealth country and the people of the Caribbean were regarded as citizens of the Commonwealth, so from a sense of duty, many had responded to the call to fight and later to help rebuild the country. Papa Sam was one of those young men who responded to the call from the Mother country. He left his island in Jamaica to carve out a life for himself in the UK but it was not as he had expected. He has some tough decisions to make.