Without Warning and Only Sometimes: Scenes from an Unpredictable Childhood

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, United Kingdom on 2022-05-17 01:25Z 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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Mixed-race Britons – we are of multiple heritages. Claim them all

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2022-04-20 20:45Z by Steven

Mixed-race Britons – we are of multiple heritages. Claim them all

The Guardian
2022-04-19

Natalie Morris

Natalie Morris with her father, Tony Photograph: Natalie Morris

With my father’s death I lost the link to my Jamaican lineage, and I needed to address that. It is vital to embrace all sides of yourself

Losing a parent is profoundly destabilising. It takes the world as you knew it – the certainties, the constants, the safety nets – and whips it out from under you. In addition, as I have discovered over the past two years, there is an extra layer of complexity that comes with being mixed-race and losing the person who connects you to half your heritage.

My dad, Tony, was Black. He was a quite well-known figure here from his work as a journalist with ITV and the BBC, particularly in northern England. And in the months after he died one sunny day in August 2020, I began to question everything about myself…

Read the entire article here.

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Manifesto: On Never Giving Up

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United Kingdom on 2022-02-15 21:30Z by Steven

Manifesto: On Never Giving Up

Grove Atlantic
2022-01-18
240 pages
5.5″ x 8.25″
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-0-8021-5890-1
eBook ISBN-13: 978-0-8021-5891-8

Bernardine Evaristo

From the bestselling and Booker Prize-winning author of Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo’s memoir of her own life and writing, and her manifesto on unstoppability, creativity, and activism

Bernardine Evaristo’s 2019 Booker Prize win was an historic and revolutionary occasion. The first Black woman and first Black British person ever to win the prize, Evaristo’s breathtaking Girl, Woman, Other was dubbed “godlike in its scope and insight” by the Washington Post, named a favorite book by President Obama, Roxane Gay, and countless other readers, and translated into thirty-five languages.

Evaristo’s nonfiction debut, Manifesto, is an intimate and inspirational account of Evaristo’s life and career as she rebelled against the mainstream to fight to bring her creative work into the world. She recalls her childhood and teenaged years as a young actor and playwright in London, details her early political awakenings and activism, and recounts her determination to tell stories that were absent in the literary world around her. In her over three decades of centering the stories and histories of Black Britons, Evaristo refused to let any barriers stand in her way. In Manifesto, she charts her theory of unstoppability, and explains how she broke with convention to achieve fulfillment both artistic and personal. Drawing deeply on her own varied experiences and the people who have inspired her, Evaristo offers a vital contribution to conversations around race, class, feminism, sexuality, and aging.

Manifesto is a unique inspiration to us all to persist in doing work that we believe in, even when we might feel overlooked or discounted, following in Evaristo’s footsteps, from first vision, to continued perseverance, to eventual triumph.

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More than a century later, the music of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor plays on

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, United Kingdom, United States on 2022-02-02 22:29Z by Steven

More than a century later, the music of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor plays on

Experience CSO
Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association
Chicago, Illinois
2021-02-05

Kyle MacMillan

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Wikimedia

It’s kind of a musical game of names. In November, a group of Chicago Symphony Orchestra members performed Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson’s String Quartet No. 1 (Calvary) (1956), as part of CSO Sessions, a series of small-ensemble virtual concerts on the CSOtv video portal.

In an installment of CSO Sessions debuting Feb. 11, another group of CSO musicians will perform the Clarinet Quintet in F-sharp Minor, Op. 10, a work written 61 years earlier by Perkinson’s namesake: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. These two composers with overlapping names were from two completely different generations, but they nonetheless have several important characteristics in common. Both were of African descent and racial bias kept them from attaining the recognition and standing they deserved.

Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912), who had an English mother and Sierra Leone Creole father, gained considerable respect in England during his short life, including early support from Edward Elgar. In part because of the success of The Song of Hiawatha, a trilogy of cantatas, Coleridge-Taylor made three tours to the United States and was received in 1904 at the White House by President Theodore Roosevelt.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra presented an aria from the first and most famous of the cantatas, Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast, in 1900 when Coleridge-Taylor was just 25 years old; it was the first music by a Black composer performed by the orchestra…

Read the entire article here.

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What happened to the British children born to black GIs?

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom, United States on 2022-02-01 03:47Z by Steven

What happened to the British children born to black GIs?

BBC News
2022-01-29

Eldridge says he would have loved to have met his father MARTIN GILES/BBC

Eighty years ago, US soldiers began arriving in the UK to help in the fight against Hitler’s Nazi Germany. In a small sleepy village in Suffolk, life was about to change forever.

Best friends Eldridge Marriot and Trevor Everett grew up together in Tostock, where they still live today.

As the pair, now aged in their 70s, reminisce over summers spent playing on the village green, it is clear they have a deep connection.

They were two of 14 children in the village, and about 2,000 across the UK, born to white British mothers and black American soldiers during World War Two.

“We definitely stood out with our curly hair,” Eldridge laughs. “But we didn’t have any racial problems; we were never treated differently.”

“We had some good times and I’ve had a brilliant life, I wouldn’t change it for nothing,” Trevor adds…

Read the entire article here.

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Racial Passing in Early Modern England

Posted in Live Events, Media Archive, 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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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 Articles, 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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