Ngozi Onwurah: the forgotten pioneer of black British film

Posted in Articles, Biography, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Women on 2017-06-29 02:07Z by Steven

Ngozi Onwurah: the forgotten pioneer of black British film

gal-dem
2017-06-20

Varaidzo


The Body Beautiful‘ by Ngozi Onwurah. Image via BFI

Ngozi Onwurah, despite being the director of the first independent black British feature film to be released, is not a household name. For a long time, her film Welcome II The Terrordome (1995), was the only film by a black woman to have a UK release. Like many black British women pioneers, her contributions to her craft have been pushed to the peripheries of British film history, yet revisiting her films reveals them to be prescient explorations of race that are just as relevant today.

Onwurah was born to a white mother and a black father in 1960s Nigeria. She was raised in England by her mother, alongside her two other siblings (one of whom, Simon Onwurah, produced Welcome II The Terrordome). Her first work, Coffee Coloured Children (1988), uses Onwurah’s own personal narrative to look at the experiences of being a black mixed-race child in England. It begins gleefully with folk of all races gathered together, dancing, laughing, rejoicing, to the ever optimistic soundtrack of Blue Mink’s song ‘Melting Pot’. The tone of the film darkens almost instantly, its extended background monologue beginning with the question “our childhood memories are blurred, murky, why did the big boys throw dog shit on our front door?”. This is coupled with the visual of this particular act being reproduced for the viewer…

Read the entire article here.

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Children of Uncertain Fortune: Mixed-Race Jamaicans in Britain and the Atlantic Family, 1733-1833

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Law, Monographs, United Kingdom on 2017-06-12 19:59Z by Steven

Children of Uncertain Fortune: Mixed-Race Jamaicans in Britain and the Atlantic Family, 1733-1833

University of North Carolina Press
January 2018
Approx. 448 pages
24 halftones, notes, index
6.125 x 9.25
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-3443-2

Daniel Livesay, Assistant Professor of History
Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, California

Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia

By tracing the largely forgotten eighteenth-century migration of elite mixed-race individuals from Jamaica to Great Britain, Children of Uncertain Fortune reinterprets the evolution of British racial ideologies as a matter of negotiating family membership. Using wills, legal petitions, family correspondences, and inheritance lawsuits, Daniel Livesay is the first scholar to follow the hundreds of children born to white planters and Caribbean women of color who crossed the ocean for educational opportunities, professional apprenticeships, marriage prospects, or refuge from colonial prejudices.

The presence of these elite children of color in Britain pushed popular opinion in the British Atlantic world toward narrower conceptions of race and kinship. Members of Parliament, colonial assemblymen, merchant kings, and cultural arbiters–the very people who decided Britain’s colonial policies, debated abolition, passed marital laws, and arbitrated inheritance disputes–rubbed shoulders with these mixed-race Caribbean migrants in parlors and sitting rooms. Upper-class Britons also resented colonial transplants and coveted their inheritances; family intimacy gave way to racial exclusion. By the early nineteenth century, relatives had become strangers.

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Black Tudors: The Untold Story

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, United Kingdom on 2017-05-30 20:49Z by Steven

Black Tudors: The Untold Story

Oneworld Publications
2017-11-14
352 pages
2.8 x 2.8 cm
ISBN-13: 978-1786071842

Miranda Kaufmann, Senior Research Fellow
Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study
University of London

A black porter publicly whips a white English gentleman in a Gloucestershire manor house. A heavily pregnant African woman is abandoned on an Indonesian island by Sir Francis Drake. A Mauritanian diver is despatched to salvage lost treasures from the Mary Rose… Miranda Kaufmann reveals the absorbing stories of some of the Africans who lived free in Tudor England. From long-forgotten records, remarkable characters emerge. They were baptised, married and buried by the Church of England. They were paid wages like any other Tudors. Their stories, brought viscerally to life by Kaufmann, provide unprecedented insights into how Africans came to be in Tudor England, what they did there and how they were treated. A ground-breaking, seminal work, Black Tudors challenges the accepted narrative that racial slavery was all but inevitable and forces us to re-examine the seventeenth century to determine what caused perceptions to change so radically.

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Multiracial Parents: Mixed Families, Generational Change, and the Future of Race

Posted in Books, Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, Monographs, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2017-05-29 19:01Z by Steven

Multiracial Parents: Mixed Families, Generational Change, and the Future of Race

New York University Press
November 2017
192 pages
2 tables and 1 figure
Cloth ISBN: 9781479840540
Paper ISBN: 9781479825905

Miri Song, Professor of Sociology
University of Kent

The views and experiences of multiracial people as parents

The world’s multiracial population is considered to be one of the fastest growing of all ethnic groups. In the United States alone, it is estimated that over 20% of the population will be considered “mixed race” by 2050. Public figures—such as former President Barack Obama and Hollywood actress Ruth Negga—further highlight the highly diverse backgrounds of those classified under the umbrella term of “multiracial.”

Multiracial Parents considers how mixed-race parents identify with and draw from their cultural backgrounds in raising and socializing their children. Miri Song presents a groundbreaking examination of how the meanings and practices surrounding multiracial identification are passed down through the generations.

A revealing portrait of how multiracial identity is and is not transmitted to children, Multiracial Parents focuses on couples comprised of one White and one non-white minority, who were mostly “first generation mixed,” situating her findings in a trans-Atlantic framework.

By drawing on detailed narratives about the parents’ children and family lives, this book explores what it means to be multiracial, and whether multiracial identity and status will matter for multiracial people’s children. Many couples suggested that their very existence (and their children’s) is a step toward breaking down boundaries about the meaning of race and that the idea of a mixed-race population is increasingly becoming normalized, despite existing concerns about racism and racial bias within and beyond various communities.

A critical perspective on contemporary multiracial families, Multiracial Parents raises fundamental questions about the future significance of racial boundaries and identities.

Table Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Mixed People and ‘Mixing’ in Today’s Britain
  • 1. Multiracial People as Parents
  • 2. How Do Multiracial People Identify Their Children?
  • 3. The Parenting Practices of Multiracial People
  • 4. Multiracial People, Their Children, and Racism
  • 5. The Future: ‘Dilution’ and Social Change?
  • Conclusion: A Generational Tipping Point?
  • Appendix: Participants
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index
  • About the Author
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Children of black American GIs, Going on holiday with mum, Salome at the National Theatre

Posted in Audio, Autobiography, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Women on 2017-05-28 21:06Z by Steven

Children of black American GIs, Going on holiday with mum, Salome at the National Theatre

Woman’s Hour
BBC Radio 4
2017-05-19

Jenni Murray, Presenter
Beverley Purcell, Producer

Carole Travers from Poole in Dorset is one of a number of mixed heritage children born to African-American fathers who were stationed in the UK during World War II. With their husbands away fighting the war, some women had relationships and children with them. Fiona Clampin talks to Carole who’s been trying to trace her father the whole of her adult life, and to John who is still deeply affected by his early experiences.

With the Election looming, we’re in Sunderland talking to some women about the issue that most concern them. The South African playwright and theatre director Yael Farber discusses her new play Salome, at The National Theatre, a radical revision of the biblical tale. And the joys and pitfalls of going on holiday with your mum no matter what age you are.

Listen to episode here.

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Mixed Family Life in the UK: An Ethnographic Study of Japanese-British Families

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2017-05-28 18:43Z by Steven

Mixed Family Life in the UK: An Ethnographic Study of Japanese-British Families

Palgrave Macmillan
2017-09-08
158 Pages
Hardcover ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-3319577555
eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-57756-2
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-57756-2

M. Nakamura Lopez, Sociologist and Freelance writer

  • Explores the challenges and rewards associated with the intergenerational transmission of culture in mixed families
  • Covers a range of topics including food, language and friendship
  • Captures mixed families’ everyday experiences

This book offers a nuanced picture of mixed family life in the UK. Specifically, the book explores how parents from different backgrounds create a place of belonging for their children, while also negotiating difference and attempting to transmit various aspects of their cultures, including religion, hobbies, language and food to their mixed children. Based on data collected from 26 months of fieldwork, the author concludes that the intergenerational transmission of culture, instead of being tied to the idea of “national culture”, is actually more organic and fluid, allowing individuals to share their “cultures”, from traditions and customs to preferences and habits, with the next generation.

As mixedness increasingly becomes the norm in our global society, the book will be of interest to students and scholars of race, ethnicity and family studies, as well as social workers, school teachers, counsellors, and parents and kin of mixed children.

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The struggles of war babies fathered by black GIs

Posted in Arts, Autobiography, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2017-05-24 01:14Z by Steven

The struggles of war babies fathered by black GIs

BBC News Magazine
2017-05-21


Getty Images

About 100,000 black GIs were stationed in the UK during the war. Inevitably there were love affairs, but US laws usually prevented black servicemen from marrying. So what happened to the children they fathered? Fiona Clampin met two such children in Dorset, now in their seventies, who have not given up hope of tracing their fathers.

A bottle of champagne has sat on a shelf in Carole Travers’s wardrobe for the past 20 years. Wedged between boxes and covered with clothes, it’ll be opened only when Carole finds her father. “There’s an outside chance he might still be alive,” she reflects. “I’ve got so many bits of information, but to know the real truth would mean the world to me – to know that I did belong to somebody.”

The possibility of Carole tracking down her father becomes more and more remote by the day. Born towards the end of World War Two, Carole, now 72, was the result of a relationship between her white mother and a married African-American or mixed-race soldier stationed in Poole, in Dorset.

Whereas some “brown babies” (as the children of black GIs were known in the press) were put up for adoption, Carole’s mother, Eleanor Reid, decided to keep her child. The only problem was, she was already married, with a daughter, to a Scot with pale skin and red hair.

“I had black hair and dark skin,” says Carole. “Something obviously wasn’t right.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Racism, Stigma and Self-Discovery: the ‘Brown Babies’ of World War II

Posted in Forthcoming Media, History, Live Events, United Kingdom on 2017-05-23 17:33Z by Steven

Racism, Stigma and Self-Discovery: the ‘Brown Babies’ of World War II

Lucy Bland, Professor of Social and Cultural History
Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge

Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
Room B34
London WC1E 7HX
United Kingdom
Wednesday, 2017-06-07, 18:00–21:00 BST (Local Time)

Of the 3 million US serviceman who passed through Britain during World War 11, up to 10% were African-American. Many of these black GIs had relationships with local women, resulting in the birth of an estimated 2,000 mixed-race babies. These children were subjected both to the stigma of illegitimacy (for the US army forbade marriage between black GIs and white British women) and racism in what was then a very white country.

Whether kept by mother or grandmothers, or sent to children’s homes, the ‘brown babies’, as the African-American press termed them, generally grew up knowing next to nothing about their fathers, thereby experiencing an acute sense of lack. Now in their early 70s, many have subsequently searched for their fathers and their American relatives. Drawing on oral history (interviews with 38 ‘brown babies’) the talk will explore their journey from frequently difficult…

For more information, click here.

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I speak, therefore I am: Meus idiomas

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2017-05-05 15:38Z by Steven

I speak, therefore I am: Meus idiomas

Varsity
Cambridge, England
2017-02-10

Eduardo Baptista


“But who am I to patronise them? I seem to have developed a tendency to shout mata (literally ‘kill’ in Portuguese) whenever I or my teammates execute a play under high pressure.”
Bianca Bueno

Eduardo Baptista talks about identity at the crossroads of swearing in Portuguese, struggling with Korean fluency, and sounding like a History student in English

It’s no news that we use language everyday to convey knowledge, ideas, and emotions of the most diverse kind. But it’s more intriguing how language directs us as much as we direct language, kind of like a stubborn GPS that doesn’t adjust to the driver’s every whim. It is often difficult to be self-aware of just how much language affects our personality and how we express it.

In my case, this self-awareness came about naturally, a consequence of being a mixed-race international student in Cambridge, spending holidays in Portugal, skipping Korean school as a kid, and experiencing some other fantastic cultures along the way…

Read the entire article here.

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Interview with Shirley Tate

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Caribbean/Latin America, Interviews, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2017-04-30 01:42Z by Steven

Interview with Shirley Tate

Times Higher Education
2017-04-27

John Elmes, Reporter


Source: Kiran Mehta

We discuss realising what it means to be black in the UK, dealing with insomnia, and institutional racism in the academy, with the renowned race and black identity scholar

Shirley Tate is a cultural sociologist and researcher in the areas of institutional racism and black identity. Previously an associate professor in race and culture at the University of Leeds, she took up a new role as professor of race and education – the first of its kind in the UK – at Leeds Beckett University in April.

Where and when were you born?
In Spanish Town, Saint Catherine, Jamaica, in March 1956.

How has this shaped you?
I was brought up in Sligoville, which was the first free village in Jamaica set up after the enslaved population were granted full freedom in 1838. Being a black African-descent Jamaican is still pivotal to me in terms of how I identify as a person. I was very fortunate to be brought up there at a time of independence, Black Power, a resurgence of Rastafarianism and, with it, Garveyism. It was during this time that my cousin gave me a copy of Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks. I always look back at this as a really important moment in my coming to awareness as black and Caribbean because it helped me to understand how colonialism continued to work in the Western hemisphere for black people, people of colour and white people. Jamaica became independent from the British Empire in 1962, so I was British for five and a half years, then became Jamaican and then became a naturalised British citizen in the 1980s. I left Jamaica in 1975 for the UK, which was a very difficult transition. For the first time, I really realised what it meant to be a black person in a white country. I was really taken aback the first time that I was asked, by a seven-year-old mixed-race girl, whether I was “half or full”, meaning was I mixed race or not. For her, that was an important way to judge whether she had a connection with me. I was also asked by my boss, in the first job I had in the UK, where I had learned to speak and write such good English and was “complimented” by being told that I didn’t sound at all Jamaican. I cling to my Jamaican accent with a vengeance, so I didn’t feel the compliment…

Read the entire interview here.

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