A Reflection and a Recollection

These two new posts are connected. The first, The Invisible Whiteness of Being – http://philipfthomas.com/?p=136 is a personal reflection that recently appeared on the Recovery in the Bin website. It was prompted by discussion with friends and colleagues on that site, that in a multi-cultural society, the nature of Whiteness – what it means to be a White person in relation to Black and South Asian people and other non-Europeans — is rarely spoken about. It is a piece of reflective writing in which I try to explore what Whiteness means to me.

The second, A Child of our Time – http://philipfthomas.com/?p=143 – is autobiographical but follows on closely from the first. It describes what happened in September 1983, when I started my first post as a consultant psychiatrists at Manchester Royal Infirmary. It describes the train of events that took place that led eventually to the setting of up what was called in 1989 the Manchester African-Caribbean Mental Health Project, and which is now known as the Manchester African-Caribbean Mental Health Services (see https://www.manchestercommunitycentral.org/news/african-and-caribbean-mental-health-services) The names of key actors have been changed, and the story of ‘Chris’ is based in that of several young Black men I encountered as a psychiatrist in Manchester. Sadly, I all the evidence indicates that things have barely moved on in 30 years.