Saturday, July 20, 2024
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Local bus driver says knowledge is the key to removing racism

A local bus driver has been sharing her experience of racism in Berkshire, stressing the importance of increasing knowledge of others’ cultures and history.

As part of Black History Month, Teresa Hamilton, who works for the parent company of our local bus service, wrote of experiences, growing up in Berkshire:

When I look back, the most hurtful was the fact that the racism came not from my fellow pupils – but from the adults.

Being a victim of racism in whatever form can be a hurtful experience. However, throughout the years, and especially this year having witnessed the unity of all races to fight against injustice, gives me great hope for future generations.

Teresa, in writing a Black History Month article for Reading Buses (who run Newbury and District Bus service), said she ‘always looks forward’ to the interesting facts that come to light each year. As a child of two East Indian descendants, culture has had a prominent place in her upbringing. Born in London, her family moved to Berkshire whilst she was still young. She says her childhood was always ‘fun and carefree.’

It was when she went to senior school that racism reared its ugly head. Teresa said: “I do strongly believe that knowledge is the key to understanding and respecting each other regardless of who we are. However, my eight years at Reading Buses have been an enlightening experience. The diversity of drivers is truly amazing.

“I have had the pleasure of listening to stories, tasting traditional cuisine and generally immersing myself in the knowledge that I have gained about the huge variety of cultures. I look forward to the days when we can again come together as staff from all departments to enjoy the culinary cuisine of a variety of cultures as we have done before.

“It is important that people from all races have the opportunity to explore their culture and history and use that knowledge as a platform of inspiration that will help them to achieve their dreams and reach their goals despite obstacles that may be placed in their path.”

Teresa, who lives in Reading, Berkshire has been a driver with Reading Buses for eight years. The company are recognising the contribution of their BAME employees who are being highlighted in the company’s weekly employee newsletter as well as on social media.