Gloria Gordon’s Book

Posted By on August 25, 2014

beyond Black and White

Gloria Gordon

the book - front

This book draws on first-person action research to provide a cultural analysis of the black experience in Britain. The author uses her personal experience of working with the racial confusion with which she lived until she decided to engage with what it means to be black instead of avoiding and denying it. Her research takes her back in time to a shared history of slavery and colonisation with the white British; outwards to her experiences in white British society; and inwards to explore the psychological costs of her long silence.

The outcome is a book which offers a visionary and futuristic view of how whites and blacks can begin to work with the visible and invisible legacies of their shared histories towards a better world, and guides readers towards the goal of conscious bicultural competence. It explores the experience of members of the African Diaspora in Britain and across the world today, providing important insights into many of the social problems they face in contemporary society, such as the widely deplored underachievement of black boys in the British school system.

The book is an important text for understanding black and white relationships across the world – an essential dimension of global social process. It is essential reading for teachers, educators and policy makers, teacher trainers, parents and everyone – black and white – who wants to understand how social inequality is maintained. And it is especially timely in the year marking the 200th anniversary of the legal abolition of the slave trade.

Dr Gloria Gordon is an Organisational Analysis specialist at London South Bank University and a 2002 National Teaching Fellowship Scheme Award-holder and Research Fellow. She is pioneering the ‘Free Within Ourselves’ Academically-Based Community Service Research Project, with a strategic focus on the British African-Caribbean Community.

Just follow this link to purchase from Trentham Books

CBACS Research Institute

Posted By on August 25, 2014

A Research Institute on British African Caribbeans and Education

The mission of the institute is to design, conduct, and disseminate research that helps guide policymakers, educators, media, and the general public toward improving the educational opportunities and outcomes of British African-Caribbeans. The Institute maintains a diverse research agenda, priorities, and activities that address status and attainment in education from preschool through adulthood for British African Caribbeans in the United Kingdom and abroad. Additionally, the Institute seeks to train and develop researchers in the investigation of educational issues pertinent to British African Caribbeans.

The research conducted by the Institute focuses on pathways to attainment. The Institute investigates the obstacles, barriers, and enablers of educational, occupational, and economic status outcomes. Research findings are disseminated broadly with the aim of impacting public policy incident to the creation of promotion of educational access, attendance, and attainment. The Institute combines the tenets of research and policy to improve local practices in educational settings.

The book Towards Bicultural Competence: Beyond Black and White provides important insights into many of the issues that are currently working as obstacles and barriers to British African-Caribbean attainment in Britain. The first pathway to attainment identified by CBACS is that of descendants of enslaved Africans or British African-Caribbeans being facilitated through the educational process to engage in bicultural socialisation.

Research sources on the www

Posted By on August 25, 2014

Below are research documents focussing on the black experience and from which a fuller picture can be developed over time of how government policy is impacting on the British African-Caribbean educational experience.  The page will be regularly updated.  If you are aware of important research based documents that can be added please send them in by contacting us.

Tackling low educational achievement -The study uses the National Pupil Database and related data to examine four different measures of low achievement, and a profile of low achievement is offered. The report will be of interest to all those concerned with educational outcomes, including policymakers, education professionals, unions and the media.

Aiming High: Raising the achievement of ethnic minority pupils

Evaluation of Aiming High

Exclusion of black children – priority review – getting it right

Community Cohesion Educational Standards for Schools

Ethnicity and Education: The evidence on minority ethnic pupils aged 5-16

Ethnicity: Introductory User Guide

Government response to ethnic minority task force

Born to be great: a charter on promoting the achievement of black Caribbean boys

Ethnic minorities in the labour market

Minority ethnic participation and achievements in education, training and the labour markets

Racial and ethnic minorities

The rights of racial and ethnic minorities

Ethnicity, Muslims and higher education entry in Britain

Black and ethnic minority young people and educational disadvantage

Ethnic minority participation in higher education: the story of the 1990s

Analysing ethnic education policy making in England and Wales

Improving labour market achievements for ethnic minorities in British society

Ethnic minorities economic performance

Young black people and the criminal justice system

Breaking the circles of fear

Community development workers for black and ethnic minority communities

Black teachers in London

Perspectives on the educational experiences of African / Caribbean boys: an E-thesis

The educational experience and achievements of black boys in London schools 2000-2003

London schools and the black child

Special educational needs and ethnicity: issues of over- and under-representation

School choice and ethnic segregation: educational decision-making among black and minority ethnic parents

The experiences of black school governors in London

Improving opportunity, strengthening society: the government’s strategy to improve race equality and community cohesion

The end of parallel lives

REACH An independent report to government on raising the aspiration and attainment levels of black boys and young black men

Every child matters

Why I wrote the ‘ESN Book’ by Bernard Coard

Minority ethnic exclusions and the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000

Pupils of African heritage, mathematics education and social justice

Social Division and Difference: Black and Ethnic Minorities (Expert Paper)

Gordon Brown’s Vision for a ‘world class education’

An analysis of High Attaining Black Students: Factors and Conditions that Affect Their Attainment Levels

Fairness and Freedom: The Final Report of the Equalities Review (2007)

Walking in my Shoes: Personal Experiences of Inequality in Britain

Prosperity for all in the global economy (Leitch Report, 2006)

Black Caribbean children held back by institutional racism in schools

The Macpherson Report

Active Citizens, Strong Communities, Progressing Civil Renewal

Civil Renewal – A New Agenda

Strong and Prosperous Communities – The Local Government White Paper (Vol 1)

Strong and Prosperous Communities – The Local Government White Paper (Vol 2)

Dying to Belong: An in-depth review of street gangs in Britain

Young people and mental health

Ethnicity and drug use

Challenging Racism: Further Education Leading the Way

Race Equality and Schools 2012: A Guide for Parents and Teachers

REIN Report (2005) Investigating Links between Racial Harassment, Employment and Employability among BMEs in Newham

Race for Equality: a report on black students in further and higher education

Opening Doors, Breaking Barriers: A Strategy for Social Mobility

Testimonials/Reviews – Towards Bicultural Competence: Beyond Black and White

Posted By on August 25, 2014

This book has been a tremendous inspiration to me and evidently to my other friends. It has put into words what I’ve always wanted to express and has provided me with a tangible framework and road map as a way forward.

I have found the book so inspirational and thought-provoking that I bought 4 copies and lent them to a few friends with a message to read the first 50 pages and return the book to me within 48 hours,(so that I could swiftly spread the word(s).

Comments so far ”This book has made me proud”
“Where was this book when I was growing up in Britain?”
“A work book to lead us out of the wilderness”

As we reflect on the experiences of the Jews who languished in the wilderness for 40 years trying to get Egypt out of their minds; Is this book the guidance (lead) for which the British African Caribbean have been waiting in order to ‘emancipate ourselves from the mental slavery’ which the lyrics of Bob Marley refers?

I appreciated the honesty of the author in sharing her own personal experiences chronicled within an easy-to-understand structure of the book.

As I read the paragraphs of this book, it seems that the book is referring to my personal journey through my life in Britain- exactly!

It is real to me alright.

I would urge you to purchase a copy and read it …it may just change your life…failing that…at least your thinking.

Denzil Nurse, Huddersfield West Yorkshire, UK

“I attended your paper last week and thought that you managed to do something very new and inspiring. You addressed racism and its impact in ways that helped me to deepen my own understanding. Thank you! I saw you briefly after your paper and said that I’d get in touch about you coming to talk to our teacher education students … who do a whole module on different aspects of inclusion.”

Dr Leena Robertson, Middlesex University

A Masterpiece!!! …………a perfect di-secting at the root! I can now recommend your book first to our brothers and sistahs who are deeper in their ‘post traumatic slavery syndrome’, as well as Dr Leary’s and Na’im Akbar’s … Many congratulations on your continued excellence, gift of vision and moving our people that bit further away from the hell we are surviving … Towards bicultural Competence is my ‘cultural bible’ and a one-stop reference point for all people of the African Diaspora. Dr Gordon provides us with a brilliant, honest, critical analysis of our experiences as descendants of enslaved African’s living in Britain. Towards bicultural competence is an essential read for all levels of educationalists, health/ social care professionals and parents.
Denise George

Dr Gloria Gordon is an inspirational woman and academic and this book left me stunned and open mouthed at times. I understood everything she was relating especially in her reflective chapter (Chapter 2) “Psychic disorientation, confusion and despair” I could totally relate to her personal time line within the British school system, that is if you are bright and intelligent black child educated in the 1970s-80’s you are seen as an oddity.

The book analyses the black cultural experience of living in Britain. There have been many books of the African American experience, but none from the UK standpoint . Dr Gordon explores cultural identity and as I carried on reading I realized and was given permission to be the authentic me that is a strong black British born African Caribbean woman. In the words of Dr Gordon “Be the person you want to be ” and I strongly recommend this book to educators, parents, academics, and students, the book certainly opened my eyes and mind.
J Quamina (

Gloria Gordon – Articles

Posted By on August 25, 2014

Below are articles which I have authored or co-authored that may be of interest:

Challenge Plus – Full Report 

Transforming Thinking Amongst British African Caribbeans as an Academically Based Community Service

Changing Lives: Women, Inclusion and the PhD

Learning and Teaching Resources for Authentic Human Development

Posted By on August 25, 2014

Authentic Human Development requires we develop the courage to face up to our everyday life challenges and temptations rather than avoiding or denying them.  It means taking control of our own learning … across the life-course … and sharing our learning with other members of our family and community.  The following resources may help us on our path to authentic human development:

Fixed mindset versus growth mindset: which one are you?

The secret to raising smart kids

Levels of life coaching

The duality of university life: the official and the unofficial

Authentic Human Development (AHD) requires what Asante refers to as ‘centricity’.  The articles below provide some insight into this process which is critical to CBACS’ agenda of transformational learning for AHD.

Racial Politics and Double Consciousness: Education for Liberation

Racialising Mental Illness: Understanding African-Caribbean Schizophrenia in the UKNew

Contact me at if you require support with the process of educating your child or yourself for authentic human development

Links for Articles on Emotional and Spiritual Intelligences

Posted By on August 25, 2014

A foundational component of my own growth over the years and that I would like to see embedded in the education of the members of our group if we are to effectively work with life challenges is our capabilities in the area of emotional and spiritual intelligence.  Below I have listed some links which I hope you find useful:

Emotional Intelligence

Connecting emotional intelligence to success

Why self-awareness/emotional intelligence is so important

Emotions and leadership: the role of emotional intelligence

Multiple intelligences

Learning styles and multiple intelligences

Spiritual Intelligence

Spirituality and Ethics in Business

Spirituality in the workplace and the implications for employees and organisations

What is spiritual intelligence

Spiritual intelligence quotient

The Buddha on the bottomline

Spiritual intelligence: what teachers should truly promote

Wellness at Work

Wellness at work and why it is big business

Why laughter is serious therapy

Cultivating spiritual intelligence to heal diseases of meaning

Spiritual intelligence as a tool for meaning and hope


Implementing African Leadership

Spiritual leadership as a paradigm for organisational transformation

Spirituality as a vehicle for passing through the stained glass ceiling: Perspectives on African American women’s leadership in US organisations

The Black Experience

Miseducation of the negro

The souls of black folks

The black image in the white mind

Are you COOL?

Posted By on August 25, 2014

Do you have the knowledge and skills required to Cultivate and Own Our Lives?

Be COOL, if life success is your goal.

Contact for more details about COOL and our plans for the New Year.

Without a Vision the People Perish …

Posted By on August 25, 2014

THE METANOIA PROJECT (TMP) 2007 – 2012 – 2034


On 10th December 2012 a small group of individuals committed to transformational change, individual and collective, gathered together at
London South Bank University
to celebrate the
of TMP 2007-2034

Where do you plan to be as we annually celebrate the countdown to 2034? 
21 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 16 17 18 19 20

Developing the Black African / Caribbean Social Categories

Posted By on August 25, 2014

CBACS has arrived at the fourth phase of a 30-year journey!

The focus of the next ten years is on bringing CBACS’ research findings into our families, schools
churches and communities at large to effect the changes we have been waiting so long to see …

No longer do we need to depend on external others … the knowledge we need is now within our group!

Do you want to be a part of the group setting the agenda for this exciting and life-changing journey?

We need your input and contribution!

Benefits for you are that you will be developed in the process.

Please circulate this news widely among members of our group so we can get the ball rolling

Contact us at

Slavery and Modern Management Techniques

Posted By on August 25, 2014

Academic researchers follow their curiosity wherever it may lead – sometimes to controversy. Caitlin Rosenthal’s research into the history of business practices introduced her to meticulous records kept by American slave owners where she discovered the origins of some very modern management techniques, included standardised ways to measure human productivity, As she so eloquently captures the irony in The Messy Links Between Slavery Owners and Modern Management, “Capitalism is not just about the free market, it was also built on the backs of slaves who were literally the opposite of free.”


Posted By on August 25, 2014

BAC LIFE™ furthers the conversation about cultural identity – raised in the True Story video below – by bringing this life transforming conversation about ‘Cultural Literacy’ and the black British Caribbean social category to our churches/faith communities…

If you would like to participate in this conversation contact us at for more information

The black-white duality

Posted By on August 25, 2014

Having read Jon Gaunt’s view that children in schools should learn all our history I thought it would be useful to share it on my blog with you – see yesterdays blog.
In googling the article, however, I came across so much criticism of Gaunt’s view (with which I whole-heartedly agree) that I was momentarily stopped in my tracks as I studied what people had to say. I couldn’t have asked for more evidence of the existence of a black-white duality if I had tried!

A colleague of mine sent me the link for Gus John’s view of what is happening in the school system to black children. Of more interest than Gus John’s view are the views of readers commenting on the article. It became clear to me that we really do need to dismantle this black-white duality once and for all so that our children can be extricated from this confusion.

Learning and Teaching Resources for Authentic Human Development

Posted By on August 25, 2014

Authentic Human Development requires we develop the courage to face up to our everyday life challenges and temptations rather than avoiding or denying them.  It means taking control of our own learning … across the life-course … and sharing our learning with other members of our family and community.  The following resources may help us on our path to authentic human development:

Fixed mindset versus growth mindset: which one are you?

The secret to raising smart kids

Levels of life coaching

The duality of university life: the official and the unofficial

Authentic Human Development (AHD) requires what Asante refers to as ‘centricity’.  The articles below provide some insight into this process which is critical to CBACS’ agenda of transformational learning for AHD.

Racial Politics and Double Consciousness: Education for Liberation

Racialising Mental Illness: Understanding African-Caribbean Schizophrenia in the UKNew

Contact me at if you require support with the process of educating your child or yourself for authentic human development

Seeing with the Eye of Spirit

Posted By on August 25, 2014

In my last blog post I referred to myself as Guinea Pig G, in the spirit of Buckminster Fuller. I also stated my intention of sharing my longitudinal research process findings from using my life as a social experiment in transforming the black British Caribbean life experience.

Being black British Caribbean, an historically racialised identity, made me highly victimisable in Britain in ways I did not
understand. You will need to refer to my book – Towards Bicultural Competence: Beyond Black and White – to gain insights into my formative years and socialisation in Britain to understand why this was the case.

Unable and unwilling to struggle any longer with racism and discrimination in the workplace I returned to education to make a new start, a year after my first son’s birth, in 1982. I did not want to continue to transmit this toxic legacy of race to my son.

In higher education I found myself being subjected to a social phenomena I referred to in my book as ‘black socialisation’. This was a breakthrough insight, perceived through ‘the eye of spirit’ (Ken Wilber), moving me beyond the societal explanation of ‘racism’ to recognise the differential black socialisation process in action, enforced by those who had undergone ‘white socialisation’, with me as a socialised ‘black’ as its victim.

In truth, what I was experiencing, and later learnt to become a witness to, was ‘forceful black socialisation’ in action. I was by this time normalised to black socialisation. It was the ‘forceful’ systematic and deliberate nature of its imposition in higher education which revealed what Josephn Chiltern Pierce refers to as a ‘crack in the cosmic egg’ (of race, in this instance).

Forceful black socialisation eventually pushed me into an existential crisis of meaning. The literature describes such crises as follows:

A crisis can be defined as the perception or experience of an event (genuine harm, the threat of harm, or a challenge) as an intolerable difficulty (James & Gilliland, 2001). The crisis is an aberration from the person’s typical pattern of functioning, and he or she cannot manage the event through usual methods of coping. The person either lacks knowledge about how to manage the situation or, due to feeling overwhelmed, lacks the ability to focus his or her energies on it. All people experience crises at times in their lives. A crisis often results when we face a serious stressor with which we have no prior experience. The stressor may be biological (a major illness), interpersonal (the sudden loss of a loved one), or environmental (unemployment or a natural disaster). The Chinese characters that represent the word crisis are the one that means danger and another that means opportunity. From this point of view, a crisis can be defined as a “dangerous opportunity.” An existential crisis is dangerous because it often feels overwhelming, but it is an opportunity because it often forces us to look for strengths, meanings, and solutions that are outside of our normal range of awareness (Walsh and Lantz, 2007)

Xanthos (2009) pours more light on such crisis amongst members of the black British Caribbean social category in her article about schizophrenia.

This light-bulb experience, in the midst of the existential crisis of meaning I was undergoing, revealed the suboptimal perception my invariably white authority figures/socialisers had of me as a black member of the society pushing me into an existential crisis of meaning. Fortunately, I perceived the ‘dangerous opportunity’ in my crisis, as a lecturer in higher education and why it was vital for me, as the descendant of enslaved Africans, to become responsible for my own education. Thus the process of my social experiment in transforming the black British Caribbean life experience began.

Guinea Pig G

Posted By on August 25, 2014

In the late 1980s when I made the decision to research the black British life experience I was undergoing an existential crisis of meaning and could see little worth in my ‘black’ life.

I had, however, by this time given birth to two sons and developed the generative desire to, in some way, find meaning in my failed black life by creating a more life-enhancing legacy for them and the society in general. This focus is seen in my endeavours to date …

In due course I came across the biography of Buckminster-Fuller (Guinea Pig B) a man who made the decision to use his life as a social experiment to ascertain what he was able to achieve in improving conditions for humanity.

I felt affirmed to realise I was following in the footsteps of ‘Bucky’. I was also using my life as a social experiment in creating a new human legacy to replace that of race.

It was from ‘Bucky’ that I took the (paraphrased) advice:

‘when something is not working, don’t fight it. Create a new model instead.’

The externally imposed cultural disorder of black British culture was not working for me especially as I found myself being forcefully resocialised into a ‘white’ view of who I am meant to be as a unconsciously socialised ‘black’ member of the society.

I made the decision to resocialise myself into the ethnic identity, culture and consciousness of a British African Caribbean.

I was planning to leave the racial culture developed in slavery and silently and invisibly transmitted across the generations through British cultural socialisation behind. Would this be possible?

My personal and social experiment had began in the context of a higher education institution which was, from the 1980s, acknowledged as the first to open its doors to the black community.

Thirty years later I am sharing my story of this social experiment and what I have and continue to learn from it …

Another Way of Seeing: Slaveship Earth

Posted By on August 25, 2014

The walls of a slaveship
All its passengers

Black, and white, yellow, red
And though cramped into
Separate holds
We are journey fellows all after all
Aboard this vessel earth.

Yaw Sekyi-Baidoo

The Name of the Game is Shame

Posted By on August 25, 2014

In ‘The Name of the Game is Shame: The Effects of Slavery and its Aftermath’ Gilda Graff (2011) asks the question: Why is the subject of slavery and racism present in Morrison’s novels … and so absent even from much historical literature and many textbooks?

She acknowledges that even having elected an African American president that the silence surrounding slavery

… may be one consequence of the void that slavery has left in our consciousness is due in part to shame, it was shameful to practice slavery, shameful to be a slave, and shameful to justify slavery. “What was shameful had to be banished from awareness.” (Gump, 2000, p.623).

Suchet (2004) reinforces that idea by indicating that “whites have dissociated the historical position of the oppressor from collective consciousness due to our inability to tolerate an identification with the aggressor” (Suchet, 2004, p.423).

Thus the shame and trauma of slavery causes dissociation, not only to enslaved blacks and their descendants, but to whites as well.

Shame and dissociation alone are not responsible for our collective denial of the importance of slavery and race to the history of this country.

In addition, whiteness is used as the universal norm in an attempt to project the burden of racial difference onto others (Suchet, 2004), just as psychologists “have tended to regard male behaviour as the norm and female behaviour as some kind of deviation from that norm” (Gilligan, 1982, p.14 quoting David McClelland), and therefore concluded that something must be wrong with women …

The important point I take from the ideas shared by Graff above points to the fact that in hiding from our failures, rather than facing up to them, the problems become bigger and bigger.

In addition, new slavery is acknowledged as a growing industry in the 21st century but is largely silent in the global economy. (Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy, Kevin Bales, 2004)

As a result we are losing sight of what it means to be whole, fully alive, experiencing, choiceful and free human beings as we build fortresses of silence around ourselves, individually and collectively, when the hallmark of humanity is communication.

Welcome to CBACS

Posted By on August 24, 2014

Welcome to the Centre for British African Caribbean Studies (CBACS)
If you consider the work of CBACS to be valuable and timely then please circulate the URL for this site more widely and contact me ( to seek clarification on arising issues as well as to share experiences

Human Resource Development in the British African Caribbean Social Category

Posted By on August 24, 2014

CBACS has organised an invitation only event on the topic of:

‘Human Resource Development (HRD) in the black British Caribbean Social Category’.

If you are a member of the black British Caribbean community involved in or concerned about the life career development of members of this group
whether for yourself, your children, members of your family or employees you should be part of this discussion.

The event takes place on Tuesday 27 May 2014 from 10-4 p.m. at London South Bank University

If you are a member of the black British Caribbean social category and would like to attend this event contact us at for your email invitation.

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The site has been funded by the 2002 NTFS Award and Research Fellowship provided by HEFCE to Gloria Gordon for demonstrating excellence in teaching and learning.