Nowhere People

Nowhere People

Penguin Books Australia
January 2005
300 pages
Paperback ISBN-13:9780143001911

Henry Reynolds, Emeritus Associate Professor of History and Politics
James Cook University, Australia

‘That’s how at six at night on 11 May 1928 I stopped being a Yanyuwa child and became a nowhere person… Motherless, cultureless and stuck in a government institution because my mother was Aboriginal and my father was not. I ceased to be an Aboriginal but I would never be white. I was not something bad, shameful, called a half-caste.’—Hilda Jarman Muir

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, people of mixed Aboriginal and European ancestry—half-castes—were commonly assumed to be morally and physically defective, unstable and degenerate. They bore the brunt of society’s contempt, and the remobal of their children created Australia’s stolen generations.

Nowhere People is a history of beliefs about people of mixed race, both in Australia and overseas. It explores the concept of racial purity, eugenics, and the threat posed by miscegenation. Award-winning author Henry Reynolds also tells for the first time of his own family’s search for the truth about his father’s ancestry, and gives a poignant account of the contemporary predicament facing people of mixed heritage.

Tags: , ,