Why Am I Black: Why Are Mixed Race Children Black?

Topics: Race and Ethnicity, Black people, White people Pages: 55 (13370 words) Published: October 11, 2013
why
am
i
black
?

why are mixed parentage children black?

Contents
Page No.

Abstractiv
Acknowledgementsv

Abbreviationsvii

Introduction1

Chapter One: The Identity of8
Mixed Parentage Children
in British Society

Chapter Two: Race as a19
Social Construct?

Chapter Three: The Social29
Construction of the
‘blackness’ in British
Mixed Parentage People?

Conclusion42

Bibliography, Websites and Films46

Appendix61
Names for Mixed Parentage People61
Famous Mixed Parentage People62
Interviews68

Abstract

Mixed parentage children are a fast growing segment of British society. Ever since the first mixed relationships in the 16th century, from freed slaves and British women, to the great mixed parentage British icons such as Mary Seacole, from the rape of slaves in the West Indies, to the present day mixed relationships, black/white mixed parentage children have played a significant role in British history.

This essay looks at the way in which mixed parentage children are seen in British society, past and present. It looks at the reasons why they are labelled as black, and the purpose that it serves in British society.

In order to do this, I have used qualitative data, and printed materials to confirm that mixed parentage children are indeed viewed as non-white.

To prove that mixed parentage people are a social construction, I have investigated the works of Cox and Weber to show that race has historically and is presently used to preserve the position of the ruling classes in British society.

By looking at the ideas of Alex Callinicos and Conan Henry, and the examples of the relationships that Brazilian and Australian mixed parentage people have with the state, I have shown that they play a vital role in the protection of the political-economic structure that keeps the ruling class in place.

Abbreviations

BAAFBritish Association for Adoption and Fostering

BBCBritish Broadcasting Corporation

DNADid Not Answer

MPMixed Parentage

Introduction
My name is XXX XXX

My father is Afro-Caribbean, my mother is white, part English, part Irish.

My complexion is ‘beige’. I have blue/green eyes. My facial and physical features I have inherited from my father. My hair is curly, dark, brown, and ever so slightly blonde at the roots.

When I went to Egypt, people thought I was Egyptian. When I was in Cuba, people thought I was Cuban. In Lithuania, I was black. In Kenya I was white. In Jamaica people called me ‘yellowman’. In the Dominican Republic people called me ‘Mestizo’.

That is what it is like when one is mixed parentage – people provide you with their interpretations of what you should be called, how you should act, how you should think, and where you should hail from.

I have chosen to investigate the subject of mixed parentage children and their identity for two reasons.

Firstly, for many, the attitude towards having a ‘mixed’ relationships draws a similar response time and time again: ‘but what about the children?’ This paper looks at why people have this perception.

Secondly, mixed parentage people are now the third largest minority in the UK, 14.6% of the total ethnic minority population1. According to a Policy Studies Institute report in 1997, half of all black men born here who are currently in a relationship have a white partner, and a third of black women2 have a white partner. Today, one in 20 pre-school children in the country are thought to be mixed parentage and they now make up 11% of the cultural minority population3. With 50% of these under the age of 124, their identity is now a crucial element in British society.

The term ‘mixed parentage’ in this paper is used to define people who have one black...
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