Caryl Phillips


Text of the Arthur Ravenscroft Memorial Lecture, delivered at the University of Leeds, 11 May 1998 I have imagined the scene many times. We are in the late 1940s, or in the 1950s, or even in the early 1960s. Crowds of young West Indians are peering from the deck of a ship, eagerly securing their first view of the white cliffs of Dover. Before them lies a new land and a new future. At the moment of that first sighting I imagine that their dominant emotion would have been that of a profound sense of loss, for clearly they knew that it would be many years before they would return home to loved ones and familiar landscapes. A significant page in the narrative of their young lives was being turned; people and places were being confined to an earlier chapter. These emigrants were chained now to the future. A future in Britain. And, of course, they expected.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.