What’s in a name?

Children and young people tell mix-d: a wide number of terms are used to describe mix-d people. Below, we have compiled a list of the most common terms used in schools and by other parents and carers.

Mixed Race: At the time of this writing, this appears to be the most popular term used by young people of mixed-race to describe themselves

Black: Is not a real skin colour - but tends to be used as a ‘political identity’ for non- white people who suffer discrimination on the grounds of race. Often applied to mix-d people due to the fact they have ‘one drop’ of black blood in their make up.

Coloured: In South Africa, this term refers to a ‘mix-d’ group of people with African and European ancestry. In the UK, it is generally considered outdated and inappropriate as all people are considered to have a ‘colour’.

Creole: In most of Latin America, Creole generally refers to people of mixed Spanish or Portuguese decent and in Brazil it is a slang word for Black individuals. The term has also been used to denote someone whose ancestry is so mix-d that they do not belong to any other categories.

Dual Heritage: A modern term but some young people dislike the notion of only referring to two backgrounds.

Multiple Heritage: Where one of the child’s parents comes from a mix-d heritage themselves.

Half-caste: In India, the population was divided into four hierarchical castes according to what they were good at, that is priest, warrior, trades people and manual workers. Once a person is born in a lower caste, he she cannot move up to another ʻhigher casteʼ nor can they marry into other castes. Children born out of wedlock from liaisons between the castes were know as half-caste. The higher caste indians of course used that as an excuse to keep the lower caste down using ʻinstitutionalised racismʼ.

One Drop Rule:

If you have one drop of black blood you are Black.

This theory was developed towards the end of slavery to effectively separate the american society into a Black and White race, The One-Drop-Rule is a historical colloquial term still active in the USA and holds that a person with any trace of African Blood (however small or invisible) cannot be considered White.

You may find evidence of this thinking within many local education authorities and social care practices across the UK. 

Multiple Heritage Project use:

Mix-d: Describes a position of pride and place where one can bring both sides of their cultural identity together and express an identity which is similar to but not specifically like either. By dropping the term race we make a step forward and begin to talk about a fully lived experience rather than constantly referring to an outdated social construct which keeps us trapped in the past.

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