Timeline 1900 – 2017

Black, White or Mixed Race? Race and Racism in the Lives of Young People of Mixed Parentage (1993)

Black, White or Mixed Race? Race and Racism in the Lives of Young People of Mixed Parentage (1993)

Like Wilson’s study, this book by Barbara Tizard and Ann Phoenix is another landmark publication, its influence being evident in its current 323 citations by scholars. First published in 1993, a revised edition was provided in 2002 to take account of new theoretical work on identity and of debates over the adoption of mixed race children.
Tizard and Phoenix’s study involved interviews with 15- and 16-year olds, three-quarters of whom were girls. Of the total sample of 242 young people, 58 had one white and one black African-Caribbean or African parent, and the others had either two black or two white parents. Under a half of the ‘mixed race’ sample thought of themselves as black; the rest thought of themselves as brown, mixed or coloured, often using the terms ‘mixed race’ or ‘half caste’. Some varied their self-descriptions depending on context. 10% of the ‘mixed race’ group said that they sometimes thought of themselves as white.
Their study pursues some of the themes identified by Wilson. These ‘mixed race’ children did not experience identity confusion but were clear that they made their own decisions. 60% of the sample gave a positive racial identity, and most of these thought of themselves as mixed. Most had some experience of racism, sometimes encountered within their own families.