Born in Jamaica in 1954, Dr Gloria Gordon arrived in Britain in 1959, to become subject to life-diminishing 'black racial socialisation' sending her into elective mutism as a young person. Dr Gloria Gordon mother of 3 adult sons for whom she was fuelled with generative desire to create an alternative life-enhancing legacy realising that she was unconsciously transmitting a dysfunctional legacy a parent/educator.
Today, 60 years later, Now known as Dr Gordon, London South Bank University’s (LSBU) first (2002) National Teaching Fellow (NTF) with a research remit to introduce academically-based community service (ABCS) with a strategic focus on African/Caribbean learners and their communities onto the research portfolio of higher education; author of Towards Bicultural Competence: Beyond Black and White; founder of the Centre for British African Caribbean Studies (CBACS) simultaneous to which was launched The Metanoia Project (TMP) 2007-2034 in 2007 as a social movement. Dr Gloria Gordon academic career, with its focus on Authentic Human Development (as a Human Resource Development (HRD) Business School academic), evolved organically as she attempted to run away from ‘race’ in the organisational setting in the early 1980s. This was only to find that she had run out of the frying pan and into the fire of ‘race’ in the institutional setting where she became the victim of traumatic racial abuse and victimisation catapulting her into life-changing crisis in 1990. The significant outcome of the crisis experience, now recognisable as a spiritual breakthrough, was Dr Gordon's realisation that we are not ‘black’ by nature but by British cultural design. Also, true, therefore, is that her ‘white’ colleagues were also not ‘white’. With this insightful realisation the ‘black’ ego-identity instantaneously shattered, leaving her with the necessity of authentically reconstructing a new ego-identity if she was not to dissolve into mental illness. Without authentic cultural provision for this outcome in the form of an ethnic community/culture of origin as DoEAs, being fearful of being diagnosed with schizophrenia and/or race psychosis by mental health professionals as a 'black' individual, Dr Gordon intuitively decided to research my way out of crisis.
Based on this history, my 36-year association with LSBU from 1982-2018 consists of two generations of inquiry-based action research exploring what it means to be a whole, fully alive, experiencing, choiceful and free human being? The HEI context revealed itself as the Goliath to my David status, given its function of preserving British cultural achievements/traditions. My focus has simply been on learning how to reconstruct my ego-identity authentically for myself and as a within-group professional expertise for DoEAs/BACs. My lifeworld became the research terrain used as a social experiment for evaluating the utility of research findings. Such findings are garnered from my delving into the knowledge of the ages as an autodidact. This is as I seek knowledge-based insights for incorporation into my lifeworld. After testing for their value in enhancing life outcomes they are included in the newly evolving wisdom-based culture of origin (The Formative Learning Centre) as a legacy for younger generations.
The significant theme pursued during this inquiry-based research process is the bicultural socialisation principle and its acknowledgement that for competence in life we must be the recipients of ‘bicultural socialisation’ into both a culture of residence as well as a culture of origin. Recognised was that I had been over-socialised into the ‘black’ British culture of residence and historically lacked the essential complementary primary socialisation into a group-evolved culture of origin – the ongoing outcome of the enslavement of our ancestors. I pursued this idea through doctoral studies. This focus eventually culminated in my PhD thesis titled: Towards Bicultural Competence: Researching for Personal and Professional Transformations…
I was made redundant to the needs of LSBU in 2017, a higher education institution which, in the 1980s, marketed itself as a ‘black’ institution (being the first to open its doors to the ‘black community’). This is with her having transcended ‘race’ and so the ‘black’ ego-identity as she pursued my authentic identity as a human being. Dr Gordon now focuses on consolidating her research journey in her new identity as an integrated self-authoring/transforming British African Caribbean (BAC). This is as she continues to work toward the vision of TMP 2007-2034 of an established and recognised British African Caribbean (BAC) community within British society by 2034. The BAC community offers an alternative to the current ‘black British Caribbean’ ‘racial category’ kept under the control of the government as a historically ‘damaged’ racial category. Such an achievement will be an acknowledgment that DoEAs have finally, post-slavery, attained the new status of the Ascendants of Enslaved Africanshaving consciously and deliberately arrived at new and higher levels of consciousness as a collective. This is where The Metanoia Project 2007-2034 comes in…
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