Anyone born and bred in Northern Ireland can’t be too optimistic.
Northern Uganda presents a situation of extraordinary violation of the rights of children.
There is not a single injustice in Northern Ireland that is worth the loss of a single British soldier or a single Irish citizen either.
I would say that something important for me and for my generation in Northern Ireland was the 1947 Education Act, which allowed students who won scholarships to go on to secondary schools and thence to university.
Northern white people love the Negro in a sort of abstract way, as a race; through a sense of justice, charity, and philanthropy, they will liberally assist in his elevation.
My parents were Northern Ireland Labour party people. We read the ‘Guardian’ and the ‘New Statesman,’ listened to the BBC. The house was full of books. We didn’t get a television until ‘That Was The Week That Was’ started. There was nothing to do but read.
I see courage everywhere I go in Africa. Fearless human rights activists in Darfur. Women peace advocates in eastern Congo. Former child soldiers in Northern Uganda who now are helping other former child soldiers return to civilian life.
On the other hand, at some level the mass of unresolved issues in Northern Ireland does influence the fact that there are so many good writers in the place.
I was born in Northern Ireland in 1951. I lived most of my life there until 1986 or 1987.