Kit de Waal – on being mixed race

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2017-04-11 21:00Z by Steven

Kit de Waal – on being mixed race

Shiny New Books: What to Read Next and Why

Kit de Waal

Kit de Waal is the author of My Name is Leon which was published last year to great acclaim – see our review of the novel here. We are taking part in the blog tour for the paperback release of her novel, and are delighted that Kit has written a short piece for us below.

My parents met in 1957. My mother was an Irish girl from Wexford and a bus conductress on the number 8 bus that my father drove in Birmingham. He was from St. Kitts in the West Indies. Their romance was roundly condemned by both sets of parents which, naturally, made them more determined to be together and they married after three years. There was lots of prejudice against the Irish and the West Indians at the time; boarding houses refused to rent to them, lots of employers would not employ them so times were hard.

I was born in 1960 and remember coming home from school when I was six and asking my mother why I was called names. She looked horrified and told me that the other children were simply jealous of my brown skin. I took her word for it and never internalized the racism that I experienced as a child…

Read the entire article here.

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