These Twins, One Black and One White, Will Make You Rethink Race

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2018-03-13 14:32Z by Steven

These Twins, One Black and One White, Will Make You Rethink Race

National Geographic
The Race Issue
April 2018

Marcia (left) and Millie Biggs, both 11, say people are shocked to learn that they’re fraternal twins. Marcia looks more like their mother, who’s English born, and Millie looks more like their father, who’s of Jamaican descent.

Patricia Edmonds

Marcia and Millie Biggs say they’ve never been subjected to racism—just curiosity and surprise that twins could have such different skin colors.

When Amanda Wanklin and Michael Biggs fell in love, they “didn’t give a toss” about the challenges they might face as a biracial couple, Amanda says. “What was more important was what we wanted together.”

They settled down in Birmingham, England, eager to start a family. On July 3, 2006, Amanda gave birth to fraternal twin girls, and the ecstatic parents gave their daughters intertwined names: One would be Millie Marcia Madge Biggs, the other Marcia Millie Madge Biggs.

From a young age the girls had similar features but very different color schemes. Marcia had light brown hair and fair skin like her English-born mother. Millie had black hair and brown skin like her father, who’s of Jamaican descent. “We never worried about it; we just accepted it,” Michael says…

…odern science confirms “that the visible differences between peoples are accidents of history”—the result of mutations, migrations, natural selection, the isolation of some populations, and interbreeding among others, writes science journalist Elizabeth Kolbert. They are not racial differences because the very concept of race—to quote DNA-sequencing pioneer Craig Venter—“has no genetic or scientific basis.”

And yet 50 years after the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., racial identity has reemerged as a fundamental dividing line in our world…

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed Race Male and Female Participants Needed to Take Part in a Research Project

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2015-08-25 13:38Z by Steven

Mixed Race Male and Female Participants Needed to Take Part in a Research Project

ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE)
The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

Karis Campion, Ph.D.
Doctoral Researcher and Graduate Teaching Assistant

  • Do you have Mixed White and Black Caribbean heritage?
  • Were you born between 1955-1970 or 1980-1995?
  • Did you grow up in Birmingham?

If your answers to the above are yes, would you like to take part in an interview exploring mixed race people in post-1945 Britain?

If you think you may be interested in taking part and would like to hear a little more information about the project through an informal chat, then please contact me, Karis Compion via telephone at 07850479436 or via e-mail at am particularly encouraging male participants born 1955-1970 to come forward as response rate with this group has so far been quite low. Also, please read the Participant Information Sheet below.

University of Manchester School of Social Sciences: Participant Information Sheet

What is the title of the research?

The Making of Mixed Ethnicities, 1945-2011

Who will conduct the research?

Karis Campion, PhD researcher
Arthur Lewis Building
The University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester, M13 9PL

What is the aim of the research?

To find out how mixed ethnicities have been experienced and constructed within particular time periods in Britain since mass-migration after World War II. Within these broader research aims, the research will explore how mixed ethnicities have been experienced in particular geographical locations in Britain. The research also aims to explore how gender and social class impact on mixed ethnicities.

Why have I been chosen?

You have been chosen because you grew up in Birmingham, have a Mixed White and Black Caribbean heritage, and were born between 1955-1970 or 1980-1995. Many other participants like you will be involved.

What would I be asked to do if I took part?

You would be asked to take part in an interview that I will lead. Within this you will be asked questions that are mainly concerned with your experience of having a mixed ethnicity. The interview process can be enjoyable but there is a possibility that you may find some of the topics sensitive to talk about depending on your own experiences. We will mutually agree on a time and place to conduct the interview prior to it taking place. I might also ask you to pick some photographs from your own collection that you feel represent particular stages in your life as a teenager and young adult. These could be either hard or digital copies on a phone/camera. These could include pictures of you when you left school, when you first left home or started your first job. These photographs will be used to help you share your memories in the interview; they will remain in your possession after the interview and will not be reproduced in the thesis. Bringing photographs however, is not compulsory, so do not worry if this is not possible.

What happens to the data collected?

The analysis of the data will be written in to my PhD research project and possibly published in academic journals and presented at academic conferences. It will be made public and available to other researchers and academics.

How is confidentiality maintained?

During the research process the data collected will be audio-recorded. The data will be stored in a safe secure place, such as a password protected data stick and any tapes will be locked away in appropriate storage such as office drawers. It will then be analysed by me the researcher in a private study space. The only other people the information will be shared with are two other University staff who supervise me with my project and help me with my analysis. All participants will be given pseudonyms in the written up research. These are fictitious names, so you will not be able to be identified.

What happens if I do not want to take part or if I change my mind?

If you do decide to take part you will be given this information sheet to keep and be asked to sign a consent form. If you decide to take part you are still free to withdraw from the process at any time without giving a reason and without detriment to yourself.

Will I be paid for participating in the research?


What is the duration of the research?

You will participate in one interview which will last between half an hour and two hours.

Where will the research be conducted?

Birmingham—either in your home or a public space that you would prefer such as a café or library.

Will the outcomes of the research be published?

Yes, most likely. This would mean that the research findings and data will be shared with other academic researchers.

What benefit might this research be to me or other subjects of the research?

The research will not directly benefit you. It will explore the specific experiences of people with mixed ethnicities like you. Your participation will help contribute towards existing academic research which attempts to highlight the specific needs and experiences of this fast growing ethnic group in Britain.

Contact for further information contact:

Karis Campion
Telephone Number: 07850479436

What if something goes wrong?

If anything goes wrong and you are unhappy for any reason, you can make a formal complaint about the conduct of the research by contacting:

Head of the Research Office, Christie Building
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester, M13 9PL

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Gillian Wearing redefines Birmingham for the 21st century

Posted in Articles, Arts, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2014-11-15 12:49Z by Steven

Gillian Wearing redefines Birmingham for the 21st century

The Telegraph
London, United Kingdom

Bernadette McNulty, Music Editor and Arts Writer

Gillian Wearing’s A Real Birmingham Family Photo: Courtesy of Birmingham City Council, Arts Council England and Ikon

With her statue of a mixed-race, single-parent family, Gillian Wearing has transformed Birmingham’s city centre, says Bernadette McNulty

Birmingham has had an uneasy relationship with public sculpture over the last few decades. In 1991, the council unveiled a work by the city-born artist Raymond Mason in the newly created Centenary Square. Called Forward, it depicted a throng of the city’s great and good at key moments in the area’s history – including Joseph Chamberlain and Josiah Mason. Made out of butter-coloured polyester resin, the monument was comically dubbed the Lurpak statue by locals and in 2003 destroyed by arsonists.

In nearby Victoria Square, Antony Gormley’s ominous Iron Man looms over a corner, while Dhruva Mistry’s 1994 River Goddess – known as the Floozie in the Jacuzzi – is currently trussed up in a neon pink bikini for a breast cancer campaign. To her left, a towering column props up a magisterial Queen Victoria, who looks away disapprovingly.

But the latest statue in Centenary Square, while no less controversial than Mason’s, stands a better chance of connecting with the feelings of the city’s residents. Gillian Wearing’s A Real Birmingham Family was unveiled on Thursday outside the new Library of Birmingham. This flagship building, thronged with people, has transformed the square, now unrecognisable from its Mason days. Before it was revealed to a small, excited crowd (including local dignitaries and the artist), the piece looked dwarfed by the monumental proportions of the library behind it…

…It wasn’t until plans for the new library were finalised in 2010, with a site in front of it designated for a statue, that the project was set in motion. The Ikon set about a painstaking two-year search for entries of what people nominated as their “real” family, including groups of friends or even single people. In the end a committee whittled down hundreds of entrants to the two mixed-race, single parent Jones sisters: “They were passionate about knowing their identity as a family and the bond between them. They also spoke of how proud they were to be from Birmingham and how Birmingham was such an accepting place, and how they can be a family here more than anywhere else.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race, and Religion in America

Posted in Books, History, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, Religion, United States on 2013-09-24 01:13Z by Steven

Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race, and Religion in America

Oxford University Press
352 Pages
15 b/w photos
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780195379792
Paperback ISBN: 9780199794454

Sharon Davies, Professor of Law; Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties; Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity
Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law

It was among the most notorious criminal cases of its day. On August 11, 1921, in Birmingham, Alabama, a Methodist minister named Edwin Stephenson shot and killed a Catholic priest, James Coyle, in broad daylight and in front of numerous witnesses. The killer’s motive? The priest had married Stephenson’s eighteen-year-old daughter Ruth to Pedro Gussman, a Puerto Rican migrant and practicing Catholic.

Sharon Davies’s Rising Road resurrects the murder of Father Coyle and the trial of his killer. As Davies reveals with novelistic richness, Stephenson’s crime laid bare the most potent bigotries of the age: a hatred not only of blacks, but of Catholics and “foreigners” as well. In one of the case’s most unexpected turns, the minister hired future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black to lead his defense. Though regarded later in life as a civil rights champion, in 1921 Black was just months away from donning the robes of the Ku Klux Klan, the secret order that financed Stephenson’s defense. Entering a plea of temporary insanity, Black defended the minister on claims that the Catholics had robbed Ruth away from her true Protestant faith, and that her Puerto Rican husband was actually black.

Placing the story in social and historical context, Davies brings this heinous crime and its aftermath back to life, in a brilliant and engrossing examination of the wages of prejudice and a trial that shook the nation at the height of Jim Crow.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. The Best Laid Plans
  • 2. A Parish to Run
  • 3. Until Death Do Us Part
  • 4. A City Reacts
  • 5. A Killer Speaks
  • 6. The Building of a Defense
  • 7. The Engines of Justice Turn
  • 8. Black Robes, White Robes
  • 9. Trials and Tribulations
  • 10. A Jury’s Verdict
  • Epilogue
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