Are mixed race people black??

(235 Posts)
franch Wed 19-Jan-05 14:29:20

Great article in Feb Good Housekeeping celebrating 20 "black and Asian" women who are "changing the face of Britain". However, included in the list are at least 2 mixed-race women: Kelly Holmes and Zadie Smith. I'm not arguing with these women's achievements, but surely it would've been simple enough to call it a list of "black, Asian and mixed-race" women??? Would these 2 have been included in a list of white women, as they are both 50% white?

As the white mother of a mixed-race woman (albeit only 1 year old!), it makes me feel irrelevant. And I also feel DD is missing out on having inspirational role-models identified for her.

Help me write a letter to GH about this. What points should I cover? Also, for reference, here is the rest of the list - I may have missed some others who are also mixed race:

Meera Syal
Baroness Valerie Amos
Kelly Holmes
Parween Warsi
Baroness Patricia Scotland
Gurinder Chadha
Yasin Alibhai-Brown
Doreen Lawrence
Zeinab Badawi
Shami Chakrabarti
Vanessa Mae
Trisha Goddard
Pinky Lilani
Denise Lewis
Serena Rees
Tessa Sanderson
Reeta Chakrabarti
Zaiba Malik
Zadie Smith
Baroness Flather

Ones to watch:
Parminder Nagra
Jamelia
Ruzwana Bashir
Mishal Husain
Nina Wadia

cerys74 Fri 10-Feb-12 16:04:40

I have a question about other racial mixes: my mother is welsh (of french/welsh extraction) and my dad is syrian (there's also some chechen in there somewhere). I have red hair and white skin, so most people think I'm white British (even though I grew up in the Middle East).

My welsh family say I'm not really welsh, my syrian family don't consider me to be syrian. What do you call someone of Arab-European descent? What am I?!

franch Mon 13-Feb-12 13:35:21
arronsmum Fri 09-Mar-12 15:24:02

to belgium waffle, you +I are so different,thank goodness.i am half caste,my son who is white agrees.I AM NOT OPFFENDED.we'r too politically correct nowadays. we accepted it years ago,y not now?I would be happy if some1 says to me(+they have done so) well u dont really look black, your'e more white than black ,etc. we'r entitled to our own opinions and to call ourselves what we want. we not even supposed to use the word coloured anymore.this P. C. world gets us nowhere

cheapandchic Fri 09-Mar-12 17:53:34

hey french. that video is great. Halle berry should know better.

I also like what the girl said about it being 'by chance' that she is mixed. I hope I will be able to explain to my mixed race daughters that you can't help who you fall in love with and it just so happened that their parents have different skin colours. It really doesn't mean anything.

citytovillage Fri 09-Mar-12 20:01:37

As a mixed woman myself, I would say it depends on the person. For myself I would say no. Some mixed people have no black heritage. Some mixed people are wrongly identified as being black. From the USA comes the concept of one drop of black in you makes you black; I personally disagree with this. Some mixed people see themselves as black. Sometimes racism within both black and white communities leaves mixed people feeling outside if both- neither either.

citytovillage Fri 09-Mar-12 20:06:08

FWIW- I was brought up to view Half caste as an offensive term -if you look at the history of it's origins in the indian caste system. It's used in a derogatory fashion. Coloured is also offensive. It suggests the base point is white people and then everyone else had colour added. Does it mean that white people are un- coloured?

ReadyToDie Fri 09-Mar-12 20:09:49

I believed in the one drop theory until I had my kids (mixed race). Now I see them growing up and eager to be part of both worlds, accepted by both worlds, interested in both sides of their heritage, very aware of one white parent and one black parent and being 'different' to both black and white children....and I feel that by saying 'you are black' to them I am denying them all that they are. Don't know if that makes sense?

citytovillage Sat 10-Mar-12 10:01:50

Gwenick- i am mixed race and find certain terms offensive - half caste and coloured especially.

EldritchCleavage Sun 11-Mar-12 01:00:17

"I have no doubt that she will identify more with the black community because the level of acceptance and inclusivity is so much higher."
Hmn. Not my experience. I've lived in both Africa and Europe and think the level of bigoted arseholes, while still a minority, is depressingly high in both.

ReadyToDie, your post makes perfect sense to me.

It is sad that so many people, including some posters on this thread, interpret a person insisting on a mixed race identity as being caused by aversion to being thought of as black. It is absolutely not that in my case. Interestingly, my mother, who is white, told me she could not think of herself as 'white', when used in opposition to black, after all these years of marriage to my father. She identifies as being on the same side as him so strongly (as he does with her) that it has transcended their original identity. They have adopted one another's identities alongside their own, which makes me amused and proud in equal measure.

On terminology, I wonder what other posters think of the term 'bi-racial', which I always found useful but has fallen out of fashion.

justhayley Sun 11-Mar-12 22:24:06

Havnt read through all the replies but good for you for standing up to this bull. I'm mixed race and had a black teacher who always used to say I was black even at a young age it upset me, especially as it was my White mum thy was bringing me up! Te whole black president things winds me up royally! If Obama was called mixed race it may stop articles like the one,! Really grates on me

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now