Mixed Race in Manchester – Intersections of Class and Mixed Race Identity

Mixed Race in Manchester – Intersections of Class and Mixed Race Identity

Musings of a Mixed Race Feminist: Random diatribes from a mixed race feminist scholar.
Tuesday, 2015-03-03

Donna J. Nicol, Associate Professor Women & Gender Studies
California State University, Fullerton

I spent the last three months of 2014 living in Manchester, England helping my mother-in-law through chemotherapy and navigating the National Health Services bureaucratic red tape to secure caregiver support and the like. While I wasn’t able to keep up with this blog, I did manage to work on my first novel and make note of how I was perceived differently than I normally am in the U.S. Now these perceptions draw on my specific interactions so my observations are certainly not generalizable to all but I found the comparisons revealing.

In the African and South Asian (think Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian) community of Longsight, being mixed race (as determined by skin color, hair texture and physical markers of mixed race identity) was not as common as in other parts of Manchester which were predominantly white. In Longsight, I felt like the odd person out and though I have traveled to England many times before (mostly London and Manchester), I was not cognizant of being one of the few mixed folks in the bunch until I stayed more than a week in the area. Home to mostly first generation immigrants to the U.K., Longsight appeared to demonstrate a kind of “racial insularity” that I had not experienced in other parts of the city. Mixed race couples were, in fact, quite rare to find…

Read the entire article here.

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