Mixed/Other: Explorations of Multiraciality in Modern Britain

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, Monographs, Passing, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2021-04-03 15:38Z by Steven

Mixed/Other: Explorations of Multiraciality in Modern Britain

Trapeze
2021-04-15
240 pages
eBook ISBN-13: 978140919716
Hardcover ISBN-13: 9781409197140
Audiobook ISBN-13: 9781409197225

Natalie Morris

An exploration of what it means to be mixed race in the UK today.

  • How does it feel when your heritage isn’t listed as an option on an identification form?
  • What is it like to grow up as the only person in your family who looks like you?
  • Where do you belong if you are simultaneously seen as being ‘too much’ of one race and ‘not enough’ of another to fit neatly into society’s expectations?

The mixed population is the fastest-growing group in the U.K. today, but the mainstream conversation around mixedness is stilted, repetitive and often problematic. At a time when ethnically ambiguous models fill our Instagram feeds and our high street shop windows, and when children of interracial relationships are lauded as heralding in the dawn of a post-racial utopia, journalist Natalie Morris takes a deep dive into what it really means to be mixed in Britain today.

From blackfishing to the fetishisation of mixed babies; from the complexities of passing and code-switching to navigating the world of work and dating, Natalie explores the ways in which all of these issues uniquely impact those of mixed heritage. Drawing from a wealth of research, interviews and her own personal experiences, in Mixed/Other, Natalie’s aims to dismantle the stereotypes that have plagued mixed people for generations and to amplify the voices of mixed Britons today, shining a light on the struggles and the joys that come with being mixed.

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Meghan Markle, The Royal Family, Right Wing Media Animus and The Specter of Deeply Entrenched Racism!

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United Kingdom, United States on 2021-03-12 23:55Z by Steven

Meghan Markle, The Royal Family, Right Wing Media Animus and The Specter of Deeply Entrenched Racism!

Medium
2021-03-11

Elwood Watson, Ph.D., Professor of African American and Gender Studies, Post-WWII U.S. History
East Tennessee State University

It didn’t take long for the right-wing media, here in America and in Britain, to gin up their propaganda/outrage machine towards Meghan Markle, better known as The Duchess of Sussex. “Unreasonable,” “entitled,” “ungrateful,” “spoiled,” “Liar! Fake Outrage!” “Fights, Camera, Action,” “Megxile,” “So Who is The Royal Racist?” and so on. Hell, perennial Meghan Markle antagonist and fierce critic, Piers Morgan, literally screamed and stomped off of the set of the program Good Morning Britain. It was a meltdown of epic proportions for all to see.

They were savvy enough not to refer to her as “uppity,” a word reserved for Black people who anger racist, White people by taking them out of their comfort zones. These are the Black folks who upset White bigots by “doing their own thing on their own terms” and, in essence, by telling such Whites to “Go to hell!” Some in the right-wing media would have liked to have called her a “n*gger bitch,” though they know that would have resulted in some consequences, even in our current climate of over racial animus…

Read the entire article here.

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Royal family’s ‘post-racial’ fantasy unravels

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2021-03-09 02:41Z by Steven

Royal family’s ‘post-racial’ fantasy unravels

Cable News Network (CNN)
2021-03-08

Kehinde Andrews, Professor of Black Studies
Birmingham City University


Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and the Duchess of Sussex depart after their wedding ceremony at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018.

(CNN) When Harry and Meghan walked down the aisle, surrounded by examples of #BlackExcellence, and being serenaded by a gospel choir on May 19, 2018, it was meant to mark a new era in race relations. Even the royal family was being “modernized,” dragged into the 21st century showing just how far we have come. Right wing papers like the Daily Mail even heralded the Markles’ remarkable achievement of going from “cotton slaves to royalty” in just 150 years. The only surprise is how quickly this post-racial fantasy unraveled, culminating in Sunday’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, revealing the harrowing time Markle says she endured as a serving royal…

Read the entire article here.

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They Were Black. Their Parents Were White. Growing Up Was Complicated.

Posted in Arts, Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, United Kingdom, United States, Women on 2021-03-06 22:48Z by Steven

They Were Black. Their Parents Were White. Growing Up Was Complicated.

The New York Times
Book Reviews
2021-02-23

Bliss Broyard


Georgina Lawton (Left), Rebecca Carroll (Right) Jamie Simonds/Loftus Media, Laura Fuchs

Georgina Lawton, Raceless: In Search of Family, Identity, and the Truth About Where I Belong (New York: Harper Perennial, 2021)

Rebecca Carroll, Surviving the White Gaze, A Memoir (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2021)

For most of us, racial identity is a combination of inheritance (you are what your parents are) and influence (you’re a product of where and how you were raised). But what if you are raised by people who didn’t look like you, in communities where you were the only one, steeped in a culture whose power was amassed through your oppression?

In a pair of new memoirs — “Surviving the White Gaze,” by the American cultural critic Rebecca Carroll, and “Raceless: In Search of Family, Identity, and the Truth About Where I Belong,” by the British journalist Georgina Lawton — two women recount growing up as Black girls with white parents who loved them deeply but failed them miserably by not seeing and celebrating them for who they were…

Read the review of both books here.

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Raceless: In Search of Family, Identity, and the Truth About Where I Belong

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Monographs, United Kingdom, United States on 2021-03-06 22:31Z by Steven

Raceless: In Search of Family, Identity, and the Truth About Where I Belong

Harper Perennial (an imprint of Harper Collins)
2021-02-23
304 pages
5x8in
Trade Paperback ISBN: 9780063009486
E-book ISBN: 9780063009493
Audiobook ISBN: 9780063009509

Georgina Lawton

Raised in sleepy English suburbia, Georgina Lawton was no stranger to homogeneity. Her parents were white; her friends were white; there was no reason for her to think she was any different. But over time her brown skin and dark, kinky hair frequently made her a target of prejudice. In Georgina’s insistently color-blind household, with no acknowledgement of her difference or access to black culture, she lacked the coordinates to make sense of who she was.

It was only after her father’s death that Georgina began to unravel the truth about her parentage—and the racial identity that she had been denied. She fled from England and the turmoil of her home-life to live in black communities around the globe—the US, the UK, Nicaragua, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Vietnam, and Morocco—and to explore her identity and what it meant to live in and navigate the world as a black woman. She spoke with psychologists, sociologists, experts in genetic testing, and other individuals whose experiences of racial identity have been fraught or questioned in the hopes of understanding how, exactly, we identify ourselves.

Raceless is an exploration of a fundamental question: what constitutes our sense of self? Drawing on her personal experiences and the stories of others, Lawton grapples with difficult questions about love, shame, grief, and prejudice, and reveals the nuanced and emotional journey of forming one’s identity.

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A Family History of British Empire

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2021-02-10 01:42Z by Steven

A Family History of British Empire

Black Perspectives
2021-02-05

Mary Hicks, Assistant Professor of Black Studies and History
Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts

“Where are you from?”—The deceptively simple question looms over the sprawling narrative of Imperial Intimacies: A Tale of Two Islands, the newest work by Black feminist theorist, literary critic, and historian Hazel Carby. This historical and existential query frames Carby’s gripping exploration of her ambivalent relationship to idealized “Britishness” as the child of a white, working-class Welsh mother and a Black, Jamaican father born in 1940s London. The omnipresent demand by strangers that she produce a satisfying account of her origins exemplifies her experiences as an unlocatable and thus unimaginable subject (98). Her own emotionally charged childhood memories ground Carby’s evocative examination of the intertwined nature of intimacy, race, and labor in the British Empire, stretching from the period following World War II back to the revolutionary wars of the late eighteenth century.

Imperial Intimacies begins with the Gramscian imperative to reconstruct, and at times invent, one’s personal genealogy, not only in fact but in feeling…

Read the entire review here.

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Dr. Jennifer Sims wins 2020 Mid-South Sociological Association Book Award

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2020-11-05 01:27Z by Steven

Dr. Jennifer Sims wins 2020 Mid-South Sociological Association Book Award

University of Alabama in Huntsville News
2020-10-19


Pictured Dr. Chinelo L. Njaka and Dr. Jennifer Sims with Bookcover Photo Credit Paul Wright

UAH Assistant Professor Dr. Jennifer Patrice Sims has won the 2020 Stanford M. Lyman Distinguished Book Award for her co-authored book Mixed-Race in the US and UK: Comparing the Past, Present, and Future (Emerald Publishing, 2020). The award is given annually by the Mid-South Sociological Association (MSSA) to “honor MSSA members whose recently published work makes a significant contribution to the field of sociology.”

The Association held its annual conference virtually October 14-17. Dr. Andrea Hunt, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of North Alabama and Chair of this year’s Book Award Selection Committee, presented the award at a virtual ceremony Friday evening. Dr. Hunt noted that six books were nominated this year, which she said is the largest amount received in the last several years. She described the 2020 nominations as “very very competitive. The scores were very close. In fact, there was a 0.28 difference between the first and second place scores.”

Speaking of Dr. Sims’ Mixed-Race in the US and UK specifically, Dr. Hunt quoted one member of the Selection Committee as saying the book “helps to open an emerging area in the study of race and demography and has created a new and interesting area for social scientists that will guide research for decades.”…

Read the entire article here.

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‘What a Barrister Looks Like’: A Young Black Woman Paves the Way

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Social Justice, United Kingdom, Women on 2020-11-01 01:35Z by Steven

‘What a Barrister Looks Like’: A Young Black Woman Paves the Way

The New York Times
2020-10-30

Megan Specia


Alexandra Wilson at her offices in London. “My ability is underestimated, quite a lot,” she said. Amara Eno for The New York Times

Alexandra Wilson is working to change England’s legal establishment, and perceptions about who belongs in it, from the inside.

LONDON — It was looking like a typical day at the office for Alexandra Wilson as she arrived at a London courthouse ready to defend someone accused of theft.

She tied her hair into a neat knot, shrugged on her black robe and pulled on a white horsehair wig — the official garb of Britain’s barristers, the lawyers who argue most cases in court.

But once she was in the courtroom, things went off script. In a patronizing exchange that was rude at best and hostile at worst, the prosecutor, an older white man, scoffed at Ms. Wilson, chided her for speaking with her client and tutted at her requests for details on court documents.

Unfortunately, it was an all too typical day for Ms. Wilson in a profession where, as a young Black woman, she often finds herself fighting for recognition and respect…

…As the 25-year-old daughter of a Black Caribbean father and white British mother from working-class roots, she is still a rarity in the cavernous halls of England’s courts.

Her unabashed observations about race and class have drawn a following of thousands on Twitter, inspired a book about her experiences and driven her to found a community for Black women in the legal professions. Just over a year into her career, she’s only getting started…

Read the entire article here.

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In Black and White: A Young Barrister’s Story of Race and Class in a Broken Justice System

Posted in Books, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Justice, United Kingdom on 2020-10-31 23:06Z by Steven

In Black and White: A Young Barrister’s Story of Race and Class in a Broken Justice System

Endeavour (an imprint of Octopus Publishing Group)
2020-08-13
272 pages
5.67 x 1.18 x 8.58 inches
Paperback ISBN-13: 9781913068301
Hardback ISBN-13 9781913068288

Alexandra Wilson

Alexandra Wilson was a teenager when her dear family friend Ayo was stabbed on his way home from football. Ayo’s death changed Alexandra. She felt compelled to enter the legal profession in search of answers.

As a junior criminal and family law barrister, Alexandra finds herself navigating a world and a set of rules designed by a privileged few. A world in which fellow barristers sigh with relief when a racist judge retires: ‘I’ve got a black kid today and he would have had no hope’.

In her debut book, In Black and White, Alexandra re-creates the tense courtroom scenes, the heart-breaking meetings with teenage clients, and the moments of frustration and triumph that make up a young barrister’s life.

Alexandra shows us how it feels to defend someone who hates the colour of your skin, or someone you suspect is guilty. We see what it is like for children coerced into county line drug deals and the damage that can be caused when we criminalise teenagers.

Alexandra’s account of what she has witnessed as a young mixed-race barrister is in equal parts shocking, compelling, confounding and powerful.

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Are We Home Yet?

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Canada, Caribbean/Latin America, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Monographs, United Kingdom on 2020-09-12 01:23Z by Steven

Are We Home Yet?

Jacaranda Books
2020-09-10
Paperback ISBN13: 9781913090197

Katy Massey

One of Jacaranda’s #TwentyIn2020, Are We Home Yet? is a moving memoir of a mixed-race woman from a working class community in Leeds and her outspoken French-Canadian mother. Exploring issues of shame, immigration and class, the pair share their stories but struggle to understand each other’s choices in a fast-changing world.

Spanning the years from 1935 to 2010, Are We Home Yet? is the moving and funny story of a girl and her mother.

As a girl, Katy accidentally discovers her mother is earning money as a sex worker at the family home, rupturing their bond. As an adult, Katy contends with grief and mental health challenges before she and her mother attempt to heal their relationship. From Canada, to Leeds and Jamaica, and exploring shame, immigration and class, the pair share their stories but struggle to understand each other’s choices in a fast-changing world.

By revealing their truths, can these two strong women call a truce on their hostilities and overcome the oppressive ghosts of the past?

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