Mixed race in the UK: am I the future face of this country?

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2014-11-09 18:34Z by Steven

Mixed race in the UK: am I the future face of this country?

The Telegraph
London, United Kingdom

Laura Smith

With ‘mixed race’ now the fastest-growing ethnic minority in the country, prejudice should be a thing of the past – but as one writer reveals, we’ve still got a long way to go

Where I grew up, a mixed-race family was something of an anomaly. Families, according to our neighbours – and the pictures on cereal boxes, board games and holiday brochures – meant a white mother and a white father and two children, preferably a boy and a girl, ideally blonde. The father went to work in a suit; the mother stayed home and sang along to Radio 1 while doing the housework.

My family wasn’t like that. My mother was from Guyana and wore her hair in a short Afro. She liked jumpsuits and jewellery and, shockingly, worked full-time. My father was from Scotland and wore embarrassing checked jackets from the 1960s (he was in his forties when my brother and I were born). Neither had heard of Radio 1.

My childhood memories of growing up in a mainly white, expensively heeled north London suburb include the following…

…Reaction to this social change has been contradictory, and peppered with hyperbole. On the one hand, the rise of “beige Britain” is eulogised as evidence of an open, tolerant country that’s moved beyond outdated notions of race and racism. It has become fashionable to shrug and say, “Well, we’ll all be brown soon.” On the other, it is not unusual to see alarmist articles about white people becoming the minority (two recent stories predicting that so-called “indigenous white children” would be “outnumbered” in state schools by 2037 were illustrated with images of mixed children), while in the black press there are reports about the disappearance of the Caribbean presence as increasing numbers “marry out”…

…Negative ideas around racial mixing have a long history. In Britain, concern about interracial unions reached a peak in the first half of the 20th century, when mixed neighbourhoods such as Toxteth and Tiger Bay were portrayed as immoral and dangerous, mixed children as tragic outcasts. Marie Stopes, then a prominent eugenicist, called for all “half-castes” to be “sterilised at birth”. Caballero says this notion of mixed people as divided and confused – the “marginal man” of early social science – remains. “When I started in this area I got sick of reading about how we were all psychologically traumatised and about all these broken relationships when my own parents have been together for 30 years,” she says…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

In Conversation with Mix-d

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2012-04-15 02:55Z by Steven

In Conversation with Mix-d

the mixed project

First to enter is Jeanette. Attired in an elegant blouse, she is ready for her close-up. Her sweet smile and murmur of ‘good morning’ gets immediate replies from the rest of us in the studio. Jeanette’s blue eyes will not get completely accustomed to the dim lighting, they are not as sharp as they used to be. Bradley Lincoln, her son, standing a few inches taller is leading her from behind and with a tender hand on her waist, he guides her to turn left into the studio.

The pair make their way to the sofas. After a long train excursion from Manchester, tea with milk for Bradley and water for Jeanette puts everyone at ease. Mother and son sit with the warm sun on their backs, facing Rhoda and Andy. Angela, Andy’s assistant is away from the studio today. Andy’s younger daughter, Emilia and I are sat parallel to the group, excited for the discussion to begin. Faint music can be heard playing from a distance. Bradley is usually the one asking the questions. In 2006, he founded Mix-d, an organisation that aims to elevate discussions on mixed race identity. Mix-d is today a place where all people of multiple heritage are able to express their feelings on the subject. This fantastic organisation has several ongoing projects, including an information pack offering helpful advice for parents and imminent parents of mixed race children. Last year they held the second Mix-d Face, the UK’s first modelling competition for people of mixed race and judged by Jade Thompson, the winner of Britain’s and Ireland’s Next Top Model.

Today, it’s Rhoda who will be asking the questions. Andy explains the project originated from several questions that kept resonating in his mind. “What impact, if any, does having an English father and a mother of Afro-Caribbean descent have on my children? How does the world’s view of my three children affect the way they see themselves?” Bradley nods in between Andy queries. “Okay, I get that.”

Andy concludes, “and it would be interesting to have a project where we could get people from different mixed backgrounds to share their life experiences and bring new faces and a new dimension to the discussion.” Bradley is the ideal candidate for this project. He has spent his life negating his own racial identity and brings this determination to helping others at various stages in their own understanding…

…Excerpts from Bradley and Jeanette’s testimony.

Rhoda Where are your parents from?

Bradley My Mum is white English, my Dad is black Jamaican.

Rhoda And how would they describe themselves?

Bradley My Dad describes himself as Jamaican. My Mum, how would you describe yourself?

Jeanette White English.

R How did you meet Bradley’s dad?

J I used to work in a pub. I worked at the bar and he came in quite often with his friends. I’d already been married. I already had three sons. I met Lloyd then.

B It’s all right, we can be honest. My Mum and Dad are not still together…

R When you were growing up was there anybody or any media personality with whom you identified or were particularly proud of?

B Not necessarily proud of, but I remember going to my Dad’s and he used to have the Ebony magazine and I’d read it. And maybe I just felt more attuned to that styling, and thought I can’t bring it home because my brother is going to think that it’s racist so I didn’t bring it home but I used to look at it and see black people in a certain way. it was a very mild sensation, but…

R So it wasn’t anyone in particular, it was the notion of there being a clandestine black elite.

B Yeah, somebody who wasn’t white. I lived in a predominantly white environment and in school I remember not being represented in the curriculum even though I couldn’t articulate it. the small bit of work we did around black history which was very minimal. I didn’t feel like I could authentically be with this because I’m not fully black. I felt quite absent from lots of things but because I had a happy home life in lots of other ways I think that counter balanced it, but given the personality I have I was always searching for what truly represented me without having to give up my Mum or my Dad.

J I think also when Bradley’s father came over here from Jamaica he tried to pursue another lifestyle, he didn’t want to be seen as black. He tried to fit in into the white…to assimilate. So I think this is maybe why he didn’t navigate Bradley through some of the Jamaican culture because he himself had come from that and he didn’t want that any more, he didn’t want that in his background. He just wanted to be seen as someone who had lived in England for years and years. He didn’t want to take Bradley through all this, he just wanted to push all the Jamaican things to the background. Cos it was later on wasn’t it, when you got older started to investigate your Grandma and everything. It wasn’t up to your Dad that instigated that…

R Are there are any personal thoughts you’d like to see included in the debate?

B I’d certainly like to see the discussion handed over to more younger people. Cos I’ve done some work in Europe, in the States and here and I find we can get locked into that victim or blaming other people, or victimhood, or looking for a problem. I find that lots of people seem to be looking for a problem. So they want to have a conversation but not to the end of finding an issue. Creating a space that gives them permission to talk about it. It seems that lots of academics enable the conversation by looking at the sociological and the psychological. Sociological is how it’s introduced in schools and how governments see mixed race. The psychological is the disconnect between the two, but the larger voice is the sociological voice. What I’d like to see is people who are mixed race from different backgrounds and experiences just talking about things from their own point of view, to kind of balance out the academic discussion. Cos the academic discussion is a different language. When I went into this project I wanted to look at the academic route but they’re actually just saying the same things. You can codify it and break it down. And they’re moaning and complaining and being intellectually superior to each other, which doesn’t actually involve the individual. It’s more of a cerebral exercise that they pass between each other. I’m more interested in nurturing the emotional side of this discussion, which then leads to the vocabulary of the psychological and the sociological so they can talk about it…

R The things that define these kids is that they all sound the same.

B Yeah, that’s true. I was tired of academics talking in a certain way so I didn’t start this project til I was 36 so I’d seen lots of different discussions and I thought this is boring, everyone was saying much of the same things. I was trying to find a way to have this conversation with young people in a way they wanted to have this conversation. And that was quite freeing because nobody was doing that and people criticised it, academics criticised it and that’s what they do, but they critique to the point where they somehow find problems that aren’t there. But there is a way of still having this conversation, to have it in a way where being seen as mixed isn’t victimised. It’s a very middle line, that some will resist, but it exists and people say, yeah, that’s where I live, that’s how my mind works. But academics don’t like that.

Read the entire interview here.

Tags: , , ,

Not as simple as black or white

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2011-11-25 06:56Z by Steven

Not as simple as black or white

The Voice

Elizabeth Pears

How mixed-race Brits are tackling issues surrounding dual heritage

LAST MONTH, the UK’s fastest growing ethnic minority, as part of the BBC’s Mixed Britannia series, reignited the debate of what it means to be ‘mixed-race’.

Demographers have predicted that Britain’s mixed-race population will reach 1.3 million by 2020 – almost double the number recorded in 2001. Of this figure, 45 percent are mixed white and black.

But despite increasing acceptance of inter-racial relationships and more visible mixed-race people such as Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, actress Thandie Newton and Olympian Kelly Holmes, the concept of being mixed-race remains quite literally a grey area – a type of no man’s land where nothing is as simple as black or white.

Some critics find the need for mixed-race people to identify as such divisive, and argue that biologically there can be no such thing. Others argue that by merit of having a collective experience, mixed-race people should be free to align themselves in this way, and subsequently, get their voice heard when it comes to policy and decision-making.


Then there are those who are comfortable self-defining as black in the political sense as a means of navigating British society.

Bradley Lincoln, founder of social enterprise Mix-D, whose aim is to provide a year-round national platform for mixed-race debate, said: “When we talk about being mixed-race there is a danger of either over-celebrating or sounding like a victim.

“Mixed-race people are not foot soldiers for a new racism. It is not a homogenous group. It is not a separate ethnic grouping – but it is time to move the conversation forward, particularly within the education and the social care system where many mixed children are considered just black.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Bringing the Mix-d: Experience to Leicester College: A Good Practice Guide to Meeting the Needs of Mixed Heritage Students in Further Education

Posted in Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Reports, Teaching Resources, United Kingdom on 2010-11-16 06:04Z by Steven

Bringing the Mix-d: Experience to Leicester College: A Good Practice Guide to Meeting the Needs of Mixed Heritage Students in Further Education

Multiple Heritage Project
May 2010
26 pages

Leicester College was successful in gaining funding from the LSC [Learning Skills Council] for a specific action research project to work with a group of mixed heritage young people on their issues, and to produce this good practice guidance, other resources and staff training. The College advertised for a consultancy to undertake the work and subsequently commissioned the Multiple Heritage Project  (MHP) based in Manchester, as they had wide ranging national experience and a proven track record in this area. This is their report.

…Mix-d: on the margins of FE

Mix-d: [mixed heritage] students are the focus for this good practice guide because the data shows that they increasingly occupy stereotypical positions in society and institutions, are a growing group and are rarely, if ever, acknowledged in educational research. The small amount of research that exists suggests that mix-d: people are often expected to choose one racial identity at the exclusion of another, or are seen as occupying a ‘confused’ middle space.

At the same time, mix-d: people are often heralded as the embodiments of a culturally diverse and post-racial society. As the numbers of mix-d: students entering FE increases, their absence from current race equality policies and invisibility within the curriculum are causing education practitioners to analyse more closely what is currently being offered to those who identify as mix-d:.

Although race is a social construct, the “politics” of race—and the part racism plays—is a regular and unavoidable feature of life for many and should not be confused with ethnicity which simply means belonging to a human group ie White British people also have an ethnicity.

Limited research in the area of mix-d: students suggests that there is a significant number of younger people in this group who are failing to have their needs met. Indications in this area of work are that socio-economic factors, family structure, stereotyping and lack of appropriate terminology can hinder any positive moves forward.

There seems to be a dearth of policy in this area and low levels of awareness regarding this growing group. Some professionals appear reticent to address issues concerning race and ethnicity and still frequently struggle with appropriate terminology. It is time that targeted and focussed research addressed the presence of this growing population…

Read the entire report here.

Tags: , , , ,

Mixed heritage models set to face off

Posted in Articles, New Media, United Kingdom on 2010-10-29 22:16Z by Steven

Mixed heritage models set to face off

Mancunian Matters
Manchester, England

Natasha Carter

Models will take to the catwalk in the UKs first mixed-race model contest held by a Manchester-based social enterprise tomorrow.

Twenty finalists, all of mixed heritage, will go head to head on October 30th for the title of the Face of Mix-d 2010 and a 12 month modeling contract with Boss Model Management.

Mix-d:, formed in 2006, is a social enterprise aiming to help people explore contemporary mixed-race identity.

Bradley Lincoln, founder of Mix-d:, said: “The fashion industry will admit that they tend to go for people who are single heritage. With mixed-race people being the fastest growing ethnic minority group, at some point we’ve got to have some form of competition to show that this proportion of society needs representing on the catwalk…

He added: “It’s quite pioneering, the first mixed-race competition in the UK, in history actually, and I want Manchester to be proud that we were the first city to host this idea.

“It’s not about separating people, it’s about showing them they actually share more in common than people realise.”…

…“All the time I get ‘You’re black! You’re white! You’re confused!’, I always have to correct people and say ‘No! I’m mixed-race!’” said finalist Zachary Watson.

“Taking part in the next mixed-race face of the UK is a fantastic opportunity to give people that understanding that we’re more than the stereotypes they label us with!”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

Mixed-race models ignored by British fashion industry

Posted in Articles, United Kingdom on 2010-10-04 00:02Z by Steven

Mixed-race models ignored by British fashion industry

The Independent

Emily Dugan

They are under-represented on the catwalk – so they are holding their own glamorous contest

From triumph in the White House to Olympic and Formula One garlands, via just about every stage and screen, mixed-race people have made massive leaps forward in the past decade: everywhere, it seems, except in British fashion.

Though there is no shortage of glamorous mixed-race celebrities in public life – think Lewis Hamilton, his girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger, or Thandie Newton – it’s quite a different story on the UK’s catwalks. Britain’s first modelling contest exclusively for mixed-race entrants will take place later this month amid accusations that the fashion industry is overlooking them because they are too hard to pigeonhole.

The competition, set up by Mix-d, a social enterprise aimed at tackling racism, will allow only entrants who have parents of different racial backgrounds. Bradley Lincoln, the charity’s founder and a judge in the Mix-d: Face 2010 final on 30 October, said: “I noticed that there was a problem in the fashion industry for mixed-race models who weren’t seen as black enough to be black and not white enough to be white. I don’t think it’s conscious; [the industry] will pick what they like and think is current and mixed-race models often aren’t what they think of.”…

…Researchers believe the benefits of being from different races go far beyond just good looks. Dr Michael Lewis, lead researcher in the Cardiff University study, said: “There is evidence, albeit anecdotal, that the impact [of being mixed race] goes beyond just attractiveness. This comes from the observation that, although mixed-race people make up a small proportion of the population, they are over-represented at the top level of a number of meritocratic professions, such as acting with Halle Berry, Formula One racing with Lewis Hamilton and, of course, politics with Barack Obama.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

‘A modelling competition with a difference’ is being pioneered by social enterprise mix-d:™ at MMU’s business incubator, Innospace

Posted in Articles, New Media, United Kingdom on 2010-08-25 02:09Z by Steven

‘A modelling competition with a difference’ is being pioneered by social enterprise mix-d:™ at MMU’s business incubator, Innospace

News and Events
Manchester Metropolitan University Business School
Manchester, England

A MODELLING competition – the first of its kind in the UK to find the mixed race face of 2010 is being organised by social enterprise, mix-d:™, based at Manchester Metropolitan University’s business incubator, Innospace, in collaboration with the prestigious agency Boss Model Management, Harvey Nichols and Vidal Sassoon.

The fundraiser event, due to be held later on the 30th October at the Monastery in Manchester, will include a catwalk competition where the two lucky winners will each win a photo shoot with a leading Manchester fashion photographer and could be signed up by Boss Model Management. They will also get involved in promoting awareness of mixed race issues….

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,

Bradley Lincoln of Multiple Heritage Project (mix-d™) Guest on Mixed Chicks Chat

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Live Events, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2010-01-25 14:21Z by Steven

Bradley Lincoln of  Multiple Heritage Project (mix-d™) Guest on Mixed Chicks Chat

Mixed Chicks Chat (The only live weekly show about being racially and culturally mixed.  Also, founders of the Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival)
Website: TalkShoe™ (Keywords: Mixed Chicks)
Episode: #138 – Bradley Lincoln
When: Wednesday, 2010-01-27 00:00Z

Bradley Lincoln, Founder
Multiple Heritage Project (now mix-d™)
Manchester, United Kingdom

Bradley Lincoln is the founder of the Multiple Heritage Project.  The Multiple Heritage Project exists for a number of reasons.

  • Firstly, a growing population of young people are being marginalised, expected to choose one racial identity at the exclusion of another and rarely given a voice on the subject.
  • Secondly, many professionals lack confidence in dealing with issues of appropriate terminology and thus are unable to empower these individuals.
  • Thirdly, lone parents/carers of mix-d children can feel isolated without a full understanding of their child’s racial heritage or access to communities where they could get more information.
Tags: , , ,

Mix-d: uk (Photography Exhibition)

Posted in Arts, New Media, United Kingdom on 2009-10-28 02:09Z by Steven

Mix-d: uk (Photography Exhibition)

New Walk Museum & Art Gallery
2009-10-17 through 2009-12-31

Opening Times:
Monday – Friday: 10:00 – 19:00
Saturday: 10:00 – 17:00
Sunday: 11:00 – 17:00
Closed: 24th, 25th, 26th, 31st December.

53 New Walk
Telephone: +44 (0)116 225 4900
Email: museums@leicester.gov.uk

Looking at mixed-race identities on its own terms. The exhibition puts people from mixed-race backgrounds at the centre of the discussion, looking at the subject through their shared, similar and sometimes completely different experiences.

The Multiple Heritage Project based in Manchester has developed this thought-provoking exhibition under the leadership of Bradley Lincoln.
The Multiple Heritage Project has successfully brought the thoughts and feelings of the mixed race community into the public realm.
Partnering a mixture of photographic images taken by Richard Milnes together with brief captions explaining how the individuals regard themselves.

A powerful view of many different faces, of different ages, describing their shared identity in very different ways.
Providing the viewer an understanding of how diverse mixed raced backgrounds are, and the terminology chosen by the people themselves. Prompting the viewer to question how they would like to be described.
Not just a collection of images, the exhibition places people of mixed race backgrounds at the centre of the discussion and looks at the subject through their shared, similar and different experiences.

Tags: , ,

Specialist mixed-race training event

Posted in Live Events, Media Archive, Teaching Resources, United Kingdom on 2009-10-19 11:57Z by Steven

Specialist mixed-race training event

Mix-d: Professionals,

The Multiple Heritage Project is proud to present two specialist mixed-race training events for Black History Month 2009, in Manchester and London.

Are you a professional working with young people?
Want to really understand the complex issues around ‘mixed-race’?

If the answer is yes, then come and join us:

Who Should Attend?
Professionals working with young people, whether in education, criminal justice service, looking after care, youth work and foster care.

Aims of the day:

  • Learn more about our work with young people across the country.
  • What young people have to say on the subject.
  • Six things to understand when developing positive racial literacy.
  • Input from three leading specialists.
  • Do’s and don’ts for developing student voice.
  • Creating an action plan for your organisation.
  • The ‘latest’ street terminology.
  • Useful books and resources.
  • Free DVD from our 1st National Youth Conference.

Key Speakers:
Bradley Lincoln, Dr. Chamion Caballero, Denise Williams

For more details visit: www.multipleheritage.co.uk

Tags: , , ,