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Floella Benjamin's early life is CBeebies Bedtime Story

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image copyrightMike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage
image captionBaroness Benjamin arrived in the UK from Trinidad in 1960

Floella Benjamin's early life has been celebrated in a CBeebies Bedtime Story.

The former children's TV presenter wrote about her arrival from Trinidad in Coming To England, which was published in 1997.

It tells how 10-year-old Floella set sail for a new life in England in 1960, showing "how courage and determination can often overcome adversity".

The book was read by historian and presenter David Olusoga to mark the start of Black History Month.

  • CBeebies Bedtime Stories

'Encourage empathy'

image captionProfessor David Olusoga read the story, Coming To England

Prof Olusoga said: "After reading Coming To England to my daughter earlier this month, I knew this was a very important and special book that needed to be shared widely.

"Not only does the story encourage empathy from children at a very young age, but also a greater understanding of the Windrush generation.

"It explains at an elementary level what it means to be a British person with black Caribbean heritage, a background that deserves to be celebrated and learned about."

The Windrush generation is the name given to those arriving in the UK from Caribbean countries between 1948 and 1971.

The presenter of A House Through Time added: "Stories are the bridge to opening up minds and personal stories like Baroness Floella Benjamin's deserve to be heard."

'Fought every day'

media caption"I fought every day": Floella Benjamin remembers her childhood after she moved to the UK

In 2018, Baroness Benjamin told Newsround that she "fought every day" for the first four years of her life in Britain, and was made to feel like she "wasn't welcome here".

She added: "I hated people for treating me as a colour, not as a person."

After attacking a tormentor with a lollipop, she had a "spiritual moment", she continued. And from then on she "stopped fighting with my fist and started fighting with my brain".

She went on to host the BBC children's shows Play School and Play Away, and later moved into charity work and politics, working with the Liberal Democrats.

Baroness Benjamin was introduced to the House of Lords as a life peer in 2010, and made a Dame in the last New Year Honours list.

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Related Topics

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  • Floella Benjamin on Dame Honour: ‘Absolutely incredible.’