Unique online resource on History of Mixed Race Britain launched by Mix-d.
Black History Month takes place this October and the 2011 Census data due out in November is widely expected to show a ‘mixed’ population in the UK in excess of one million. Mix-d is therefore delighted to be able to announce the formal launch of their ‘Mixed Race Timeline’ hosted by Mix-d, one of the UK’s most high profile and well known organisation dedicated to supporting young people from mixed backgrounds. The project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, aims to gather in one place information about the history of racial mixing in Britain. Mixed Race Timeline draws on material from a British Academy-funded project conducted by Dr Chamion Caballero (Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Research, London South Bank University) and Dr Peter Aspinall (University of Kent) which explored the presence of mixed race people, couples and families in the early 20th century, and is supported and showcased by Bradley Lincoln, the founder of Mix-d.
Mixed Race Timeline is the UK’s first history project to deal specifically with the story of mixed race people, couples and families in Britain. Currently focusing on the period from 1900 to present day, the Timeline is a rich interactive, entertaining and information-packed resource. Bursting with fascinating and surprising stories it unearths a hidden narrative that has only recently begun to be disinterred form the dusty archives of British history. Fascinating stories emerge: Mixed race relationships on the Titanic; Marie Stopes recommending that all ‘half castes’ should be sterilised and Julian Huxley’s powerful anti-racist polemic claiming that all Europeans are of mixed race. The Mixed Timeline aims to educate and disseminate facts about, and lived experiences of, racial and ethnic mixing in Britain . The project sourced a huge range of archival material from national and local archives. It included official documents, autobiographical recordings and photo and film material to understand how social perceptions of racial mixing and mixedness have emerged and changed during the twentieth century to date.
Dr Caballero said
“We had hoped to find some records and personal accounts relating to these families and people, but what we found far exceeded our expectations. The project has helped us to understand more about the experiences of these families and the effect that official attitudes to racial mixing and mixedness had on their lives”.
Peter Aspinall commented
“Over the last year we have been able to bring our history of mixed race up to the present day, culminating in the centre stage position accorded mixed race in the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games. The Timeline is therefore a unique record of mixing and mixedness over more than a century”
“I’m delighted to host and support this unique British project. Our aim at Mix-d: is to complement existing histories and theories on mixed-race identity and ensure a full and balanced picture is communicated. The Mix-d: Timeline highlights the many hidden stories and experiences of an often invisible population.”
The project’s findings indicated that while mixed race people, couples and families certainly experienced prejudice and hostility in this ‘era of moral condemnation’, they were not inherently ‘tragic’, ‘marginal’ or ‘doomed’, but simply another part of the longstanding diversity and difference that is a feature of British life.
For further information:
Contact Bradley Lincoln, Founder and Director Mix-d.
Mixed Race timeline is supported by a grant from The Arts and Humanities Council, under its Digital Transformations Research Development grant scheme. The team are in the process of seeking funding to develop the Timeline further, both in terms of expanding its current content and identifying pre-20th century material.
The first phase of research from the project informed some of BBC Two’s Mixed Race Season (2011). Findings from the British Academy-funded study formed the foundations of the three part BBC2 series Mixed Britannia (Oct-Nov 2011). Drs Caballero and Aspinall acted as academic consultants for the series and Dr Caballero featured in programme three.
Mix-d: is a self funded social enterprise.