Clever Girls pp 165-180 | Cite as

Things You Wouldn’t Say to Your Daughter

  • Panya Banjoko


This is the journey of a descendant of eco-migrant pioneers from the Windrush generation—one that believed education to be a route to social mobility. But what class was/am I when colour speaks so visibly? I speak for girls like me who had to learn a new language and culture before accessing the education system, who negotiated negative stereotypes only to be marginalised and who eventually found hope and redemption by storing herself away in silence. I highlight prominent experiences on the journey to becoming a clever girl—being an elective mute, my relationship with my father, and the hostile environment that surrounded me—before I took my place in the academy. Although the colour of my skin is different to the majority population, I am British and have a right to learn. I share moments of weakness but more importantly moments of strength through vignettes and poetry.


Windrush generation Elective mutism Racism Rastafarianism Poetry 


  1. Bras, H., Kok, J., & Mandemakers, K. (2010). Sibship Size and Status Attainment across Contexts: Evidence from the Netherlands, 1840–1925. Demographic Research, 23, 73–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Christian, M. (2005). The Politics of Black Presence in Britain and Male Exclusion in the British Education System. Journal of Black Studies, 35, 3, 3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ellis, C., Adams, T. E. & Bochner, A. P. (2010) Autoethnography: An Overview Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12, 1, Art. 10.
  4. Emery, T. (2013). Intergenerational Transfers and European Families: Does the Number of Siblings Matter? Demographic Research, 29, 252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Garrison, L. (1979). Black Youth, Rastafarianism and the Identity Crisis in Britain. London: ACER.Google Scholar
  6. Sen, A. (Ed.) (2011). Peace and Democratic Society. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers/Commonwealth Secretariat.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Panya Banjoko
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Arts and HumanitiesNottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK

Personalised recommendations