It's remarkable that the African-American story is so similar to the Afro-Carribbean story. My mother had the same issues growing up. My grandmother abandoned her (at the age of 6) with abusive family members, and left for England. Not once looking back. My mother grew up telling herself
"I am nobodies child, I'm just a flower growing wild"
She had two sons (my half brothers), that she left behind in Jamaica to find a better way of life. She left them when they were 14-15 years old. And they have suffered the pains of not having their mother.
And when I was born (in Canada), its as if I was born with all the pain she's been enduring. You feel it in your spirit. It never leaves you, because that's the pain she conceived me with.
She's 64 now, and it took so many years to find some healing. The countless nights crying in the bathroom and countless days wondering why she was unwanted. But, I'm so grateful my dad is the man he is because he stayed loyal throughout it all! Granted, he had his own issues that he regrets adding to the mix of our family, but my mom no longer felt unloved or unwanted.
Nonetheless, I still carry so much hurt and trauma, because of the amount of hurt and trauma we had to work through as a family. And, I still feel the pressures of being something more because my own black man treats me as less. And I still feel the pressures of creating generational wealth, cause I'm the first in the family to have the opportunity to receive an education. Racism, equity, and trauma play a fundamental role in our lives (even to this day).
So when people say, racism doesn't exist. I laugh. Because I know the history of my island and my family, to know damn well, racism never left the chat.