Rena Khublall

(1940 on) – Social Services Council Worker

Full disclosure here, Rena Khublall is a distant relative of mine. She’s someone I’ve known ever since I can remember. But it was only when I took author and historian Colin Grant to meet my Rena and her husband, David Khublall, for his book Homecoming that I fully heard her life story and her deep-seated politics of racial equality.

Born in the then-named British Guiana, Rena and David, like many tens of thousands of others, came from the Caribbean in the 1960s to try their luck in London, separating from their three eldest children for five years in the process – a heart-breaking decision taken by so many parents. They built their lives in west London, but Rena remembers the racism and the fightback, particularly from the Jamaicans. She’s an unassuming, quiet woman whose life experience and work as a council and social services worker have given her real fortitude and an understanding of the need for solidarity and tolerance. 

Sharmilla Beezmohun

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Photograph C/o Christian Cassiel/English Heritage – Rena with her husband David

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