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Tea & Yam

Sherry Ann Dixon | 2/27/2013, 12:14 p.m.

As a beauty editor and journalist, I have witnessed it all. There was a time when the British woman of color adapted to the American woman of color's idea of beauty. It has taken many years for us to find our own niche; our own identity. We have embraced natural hair with vigor and we are very proud of moving forward with our own ideas of beauty. Initially, there was a stigma with regard to bleaching - light vs. dark skinned. But because people like myself have written articles for mainstream media, dispelling a lot of the ridiculous myths which were fed down the chain, more women became aware of their beauty and celebrated the diversity of our race. We are proud to wear our traditional garments, and wear bright and engaging cosmetic colors which show off our beautiful skin. Our British hosts have had to learn to celebrate our diversity because suddenly we are making an impact. Of course mainstream organizations are still holding on to stiff upper lip attitudes and in those cases some of our sisters are not encouraged to go natural as this could impact on career moves. But there are so many exhibitions, festivals and organized events celebrating people of color now, that other races have embraced our events and attitudes more.

I went home for a while and lived in other Caribbean islands as well, but I could not settle. I truly now believe that my home is in London or generally in the UK although my heart is in Guyana or the Caribbean. It's about what you know. It's about to what you are accustomed - and the cultures are so different. The laid back-easy attitude of the Caribbean is great for me when I am on holiday but I love the fact that I can do what I want, when I want and can find people with the same vigor and attitude as me. I don't have to feel different because I want to go for a drink after work with my girlfriends and not have to ask the permission of my partner to do whatever. I accept that I have had the freedom of choice and that it is not the same for my sisters in the Caribbean. Also I am not ready to slow down yet. I have so much more to do, too many people left to empower, my voice has to be heard and I can do all these things from the UK. Home for me is where my family is and my children and grandchildren are in London. I can earn enough money here and travel back to my birth home when I am ready for a top-up of Guyanese culture. After all, I am Guyanese on my birth certificate.

Sherry Ann Dixon is a celebrated broadcast journalist, newspaper and magazine editor, and motivational speaker. Dixon was recently inducted into the Black 100+ Hall of Fame. The Black100+ Project is an exhibition of the top 100 black achievers in Britain.

Dixon, a journalist, radio presenter, university lecturer and a member of the National Black Women's Network (NBWN), will be featured in a historic photographic record of black achievement, designed to inspire young people to excel and create a legacy for future generations, by highlighting her success and her valuable contributions to society.