Racial Passing in Early Modern England

Posted in Forthcoming Media, Live Events, Passing, United Kingdom on 2022-01-20 02:26Z by Steven

Racial Passing in Early Modern England

Online- via Zoom
2022-01-20, 17:30-19:00Z (12:30-14:00 EST)

Lubaaba Al-Azami, Ph.D. Candidate in English Literature
University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Lubaaba al-Azami (@lubaabanama) is a doctoral candidate at the University of Liverpool, funded by the AHRC NWCDTP. Her research project is a decolonial and feminist consideration of early modern English encounters with Mughal Indian imperial femininity, exploring English theatrical and travel literature alongside Mughal royal memoirs. She is founder of Medieval and Early Modern Orients (MEMOs), an AHRC NWCDTP-funded collaborative digital resource on early English encounters with the Islamic worlds.

All welcome. This event is free but booking is required.

For more information and to register, click here.

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Without Warning and Only Sometimes: Scenes from an Unpredictable Childhood

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, United Kingdom on 2021-12-14 15:17Z by Steven

Without Warning and Only Sometimes: Scenes from an Unpredictable Childhood

Tinder Press (an imprint of Headline Publishing Group)
2022-08-18
304 pages
222 x 138 mm
Hardback ISBN: 9781472284839

Kit de Waal

From the award-winning author of My Name is Leon, The Trick to Time and Supporting Cast comes a childhood memoir set to become a classic: stinging, warm-hearted, and true.

Kit de Waal grew up in a household of opposites and extremes. Her haphazard mother rarely cooked, forbade Christmas and birthdays, worked as a cleaner, nurse and childminder sometimes all at once and believed the world would end in 1975. Meanwhile, her father stuffed barrels full of goodies for his relatives in the Caribbean, cooked elaborate meals on a whim and splurged money they didn’t have on cars, suits and shoes fit for a prince. Both of her parents were waiting for paradise. It never came.

Caught between three worlds, Irish, Caribbean and British in 1960s Birmingham, Kit and her brothers and sisters knew all the words to the best songs, caught sticklebacks in jam jars and braved hunger and hellfire until they could all escape.

Without Warning and Only Sometimes is a story of an extraordinary childhood and how a girl who grew up in house where the Bible was the only book on offer went on to discover a love of reading that inspires her to this day.

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Making Mixed Race: A Study of Time, Place and Identity

Posted in Books, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2021-11-26 20:56Z by Steven

Making Mixed Race: A Study of Time, Place and Identity

Routledge
2021-11-24
208 pages
Hardback ISBN: 9780367462918

Karis Campion, Legacy in Action Research Fellow
Stephen Lawrence Research Centre
De Montfort University, Leicester, United Kingdom

By examining Black mixed-race identities in the city through a series of historical vantage points, Making Mixed Race provides in-depth insights into the geographical and historical contexts that shape the possibilities and constraints for identifications.

Whilst popular representations of mixed-race often conceptualise it as a contemporary phenomenon and are couched in discourses of futurity, this book dislodges it from the current moment, to explore its emergence as a racialised category, and personal identity, over time. In addition to tracing the temporality of mixed-race, the contributions show the utility of place as an analytical tool for mixed-race studies. The conceptual framework for the book – place, time, and personal identity – offers a timely intervention to the scholarship that encourages us to look outside of individual subjectivities and critically examine the structural contexts that shape Black mixed-race lives.

The book centres around the life histories of 37 people of Mixed White and Black Caribbean heritage born between 1959 and 1994, in Britain’s second-largest city, Birmingham. The intimate life portraits of mixed identity, reveal how colourism, family, school, gender, whiteness, racism, and resistance, have been experienced against the backdrop of post-war immigration, Thatcherism, the ascendency of Black diasporic youth cultures, and contemporary post-race discourses. It will be of interest to researchers, postgraduate and undergraduate students who work on (mixed) race and ethnicity studies in academic areas including geographies of race, youth identities/cultures, gender, colonial legacies, intersectionality, racism and colourism.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Introducing Birmingham
  3. The making of mixed-race in place
  4. From bun down Babylon to melting pot Britain: the manifestations of mixed-race over time
  5. Mixed-race privilege and precarious positionalities: the personal politics of identity
  6. The making of mixed-race families: past, present and future
  7. Conclusion
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‘Passing,’ Ruth Negga refuses to be pinned down

Posted in Articles, Arts, Autobiography, Europe, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United Kingdom, United States, Women on 2021-11-12 19:40Z by Steven

‘Passing,’ Ruth Negga refuses to be pinned down

The Los Angeles Times
2021-11-11

Sonaiya Kelley, Staff Writer

Actress Ruth Negga stars in “Passing,” now streaming on Netflix. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

Ruth Negga has given the subject of identity a lot of thought.

And not just because she stars as Clare Kendry, a fair-skinned Black woman who moves through life as a white woman, in “Passing,” Rebecca Hall’s adaptation of Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel. No, Negga’s musings on identity stem back to her childhood in Ireland and England, where she was first introduced to the concept of being othered.

“To be honest, I’ve never fit in anywhere,” she said over Zoom in October. “I think being Black in Ireland when there wasn’t that many Black people and being Black and Irish in London at an all-white school in the early ’90s wasn’t great for me either.”

At the same time, being hard to categorize has not always been a bad thing, she says. “I think sometimes there is a pleasure I get in being different. I felt safe being the other in many ways because that’s where I could be my whole, true self.”

The Ethiopian-Irish actor frequently upends notions of social constructs such as race and identity in her work. In “Passing,” which is set in the 1920s, Clare enjoys the privileges afforded only to white women by day while sneaking off to Harlem to commune with Black folks by night (Tessa Thompson co-stars as Irene, a woman who only flirts with the possibility of passing). And in 2016’s “Loving,” Negga stars as Mildred Jeter, a woman in an interracial marriage who challenges the Supreme Court to end the anti-miscegenation laws that condemn her marriage as unlawful…

Read the entire interview here.

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A British betrayal: the secret deportations of Chinese merchant sailors

Posted in Arts, Asian Diaspora, Audio, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United Kingdom on 2021-11-11 22:09Z by Steven

A British betrayal: the secret deportations of Chinese merchant sailors

The Guardian
2021-11-10

Presented by: Nosheen Iqbal with Dan Hancox and Yvonne Foley
Produced by Joshua Kelly and Axel Kacoutié
Executive producers Phil Maynard and Archie Bland

Yvonne Foley, Photograph: Christopher Thomond/The Guardian

During the second world war, Chinese sailors served alongside their British allies in the merchant navy, heroically keeping supply lines open to the UK. But after the war hundreds of them who had settled in Liverpool suddenly disappeared. Now their children are piecing together the truth

Liverpool is home to the longest-established Chinese community in Europe having built sea links with Shanghai from the 19th century onwards. A thriving Chinatown is among the city’s present day inheritance of the era. But there is a darker side to the story of Liverpool’s Chinese community.

During the second world war, Chinese men served alongside their British comrades in merchant vessels that kept supply lines of food and other essentials flowing into the UK. It was incredibly dangerous work as the enormous cargo ships were ready targets for German U-boats and many of the seamen perished. After the war, many of the Chinese sailors settled in Liverpool with some starting families. But from 1946 onwards many started to go missing from the city.

On a day that Britain remembers the sacrifices of its war dead, writer Dan Hancox tells Nosheen Iqbal how he began investigating what had happened to the missing Chinese sailors and found a story of betrayal that is largely unknown in the UK. In the months following the war, the Home Office carried out thousands of secret deportations of Chinese seamen leaving their wives and children to believe they had been abandoned.

Yvonne Foley tells Nosheen she was 11 when she was told the truth about her Chinese heritage and has been trying ever since to find out what happened to her biological father she has never known.

Listen to the story (00:30:52) here. Download the story here.

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BBC releases first-look images of My Name Is Leon

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2021-10-29 16:01Z by Steven

BBC releases first-look images of My Name Is Leon

Royal Television Society
2021-10-28

Caitlin Danaher

Cole Martin as Leon (credit: BBC)

The BBC has released images for the upcoming adaptation of Kit de Waal’s award-winning novel, My Name Is Leon.

Adapted into a screenplay by Shola Amoo (The Last Tree) and directed by Lynette Linton, the series will star Sir Lenny Henry CBE, Malachi Kirby (Small Axe), Monica Dolan (A Very English Scandal), Olivia Williams (Counterpart), Christopher Eccleston (The A Word), Poppy Lee Friar (In My Skin), Shobna Gulati (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie) and Cole Martin, who will play the lead, Leon, in his first TV role.

Set in 1980s Birmingham, the feature film tells the uplifting and poignant tale of nine-year-old Leon, a mixed-race boy separated from his blue-eyed baby brother as he was taken into care, who is on a quest to reunite his family…

Read the entire article here.

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Sidesplitter: How to be from Two Worlds at Once

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United Kingdom on 2021-10-11 18:21Z by Steven

Sidesplitter: How to be from Two Worlds at Once

Hodder & Stoughton
2021-09-16
304 pages
Hardcover ISBN-13: 9781529350272
eBook ISBN-13: 9781529350296
Audiobook ISBN-13: 9781529350302

Phil Wang

One of the UK’s brightest and best comedians takes an incisive look at race and belonging.

‘But where are you really from?’

Phil Wang has been asked this question so many times he’s finally written a book about it.

In this mix of comic memoir and observational essay, one of the UK’s most exciting stand-up comedians reflects on his experiences as a Eurasian man in the West and in the East. Phil was born in Stoke-on-Trent, raised in Malaysia, and then came of age in Bath – ‘a spa town for people who find Cheltenham too ethnic’.

Phil takes an incisive look at what it means to be mixed race, as he explores the contrasts between cultures and delves into Britain and Malaysia’s shared histories, bringing his trademark cynicism and wit to topics ranging from family, food, and comedy to race, empire, and colonialism.

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The children born to Black American GIs and white British women during Second World War

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom, United States on 2021-10-10 21:46Z by Steven

The children born to Black American GIs and white British women during Second World War

The Bristol Post
Bristol, England, United Kingdom
2021-10-08

Hannah Simpson

Interracial couples dancing in England during WWII (Image: www.mixedmuseum.org.uk/brown-babies ‘Courtesy of Gregory S. Cooke Collection’)

The children, who came to be known by the British press as the nation’s “Brown Babies”, grew up in post-war Britain

During World War II, around one million American troops arrived in England to prepare for the invasion of Europe and to assist Great Britain in the fight against Nazi Germany.

Of these GIs, 130,000 were African American who landed in cities such as Bristol between 1942 and 1945.

For many Brits, this was their first time meeting a person of colour, but in Bristol, the public were incredibly welcoming to their American visitors, with some pubs such as The Colston Arms refusing to adhere to US segregation practices.

America’s stringent Jim Crow laws were not limited to the United States alone, as the army was officially segregated until 1948…

…Professor of social and cultural history at Anglia Ruskin University, Lucy Bland said: “From all accounts a lot of local people much preferred the Black GIs…

Read the entire article here.

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De Waal’s ‘extraordinary’ memoir goes to Tinder Press

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2021-10-01 18:52Z by Steven

De Waal’s ‘extraordinary’ memoir goes to Tinder Press

The Bookseller: At the Heart of Publishing since 1858
2021-09-28

Heloise Wood, Deputy News Editor

Tinder Press has landed Kit de Waal’s memoir about growing up in Birmingham in the Sixties and Seventies, Without Warning and Only Sometimes, which she described as “the story I always wanted to tell”.

Publisher Mary-Anne Harrington acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Jo Unwin at JULA. Without Warning and Only Sometimes will be published on 18th August 2022.

The memoir charts de Waal’s unpredictable childhood, growing up mixed race in Moseley, Birmingham.

Harrington said: “I have been desperate to work with Kit for years and knew she had the most wonderful story to tell, so it’s both an enormous thrill and an honour to be working with her on Without Warning and Only Sometimes. Kit takes us into the mind and heart of a girl raised to believe the world was going to end in 1975, who was never allowed to celebrate Christmas, and whose father squirreled away every penny he had to build a house in St Kitts that his wife and children were never to see.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Bernardine Evaristo on a childhood shaped by racism: ‘I was never going to give up’

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Biography, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2021-09-28 01:40Z by Steven

Bernardine Evaristo on a childhood shaped by racism: ‘I was never going to give up’

The Guardian
2021-09-25

Bernardine Evaristo


Bernardine Evaristo: ‘I liked the same music as my little white pals, ate the same food, had the same feelings – human ones.’ Photograph: Suki Dhanda/The Observer

My creativity can be traced back to my heritage, to the skin colour that defined how I was perceived. But, like my ancestors, I wouldn’t accept defeat

When I won the Booker prize in 2019 for my novel Girl, Woman, Other, I became an “overnight success”, after 40 years working professionally in the arts. My career hadn’t been without its achievements and recognition, but I wasn’t widely known. The novel received the kind of attention I had long desired for my work. In countless interviews, I found myself discussing my route to reaching this high point after so long. I reflected that my creativity could be traced back to my early years, cultural background and the influences that have shaped my life. Not least, my heritage and childhood

Through my father, a Nigerian immigrant who had sailed into the Motherland on the “Good Ship Empire” in 1949, I inherited a skin colour that defined how I was perceived in the country into which I was born, that is, as a foreigner, outsider, alien. I was born in 1959 in Eltham and raised in Woolwich, both in south London. Back then, it was still legal to discriminate against people based on the colour of their skin, and it would be many years before the Race Relations Acts (1965 and 1968) enshrined the full scope of anti-racist doctrine into British law.

My English mother met my father at a Commonwealth dance in central London in 1954. She was studying to be a teacher at a Catholic teacher-training college run by nuns in Kensington; he was training to be a welder. They married and had eight children in 10 years. Growing up, I was labelled “half-caste”, the term for biracial people at that time…

Read the entire article here.

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