Saturday, 29 June 2013

Mixed Race Relationships- One in Ten

As revealed by the 2011 Census, mixed race people are the biggest growing racial minority in the UK. More than one in ten children now live in a mixed race family and this figure is rising steadily. It is no longer unusual to see mixed couples and mixed race children, so why do some people still object?

Shades of Grey





When I posted a man's account of his mixed race relationship in April, the interest surprised me. Was this because he is white British and she is black Ugandan? His story Shades of Grey received a record numbers of page views on this blog. Would the interest have been the same if he was black and she was white I wondered?


Over in the USA a seemingly harmless cereal advert by Cheerios sparked such fury that the Cheerios’ YouTube channel was forced to disable its comments section. Why? Because the mother is white, the father is black, and the girl was acting as their mixed race child. Seattle Times.    In response to this I am heartened by the majority who have been outraged and that Cheerios continued to stand by the advert. People in mixed race relationships in USA have joined together and created a new website to celebrate mixed relationships.  wearethe15percent.com represents the number of new mixed race marriages in US in 2010.

It seems that objections to mixed race relationships are not particular to any race. As I write, the police are hunting for the assailant of a black woman and her mixed race toddler at Highams Park Station earlier in the week. BBC News.

Cricketers Club Wavertree
Whilst the search for this assailant is underway the breaking news yesterday was that a 7 year old mixed race girl was racially abused by a group of National Front members when she accidentally walked into a community hall in Merseyside BBC News.

The increasing numbers of global mixed race relationship indicates that racial boundaries are being eroded and this is a good sign. More however, needs to be done to support mixed families and their children who are still experiencing adversity in a society which does not wholly accept their existence.  Robert's daughter Trinity will grow up in a increasingly multiracial world where ones racial background or racial preference for a partner should not not raise eyebrows or trigger stares and glances, let alone racist chants and violent attacks.

Since writing this post, I have decided to start One in Ten, a UK portrayal of mixed race families.  I am looking forward to posting your photo's.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Mixed Blessings



This tweet by Rob Cosman caught my eye when I was checking out which mixed race stories were trending on twitter earlier this week.   'Marsha's mixed race children's book seems to be getting much love in the UK and US'  At the time of posting it had received 2621 retweets and 733 favorites!!


The book is a bout a young son who discovers he does not have exactly the same skin colour as either parent. He questions this revelation and his parents explain using animals during a visit to the zoo. A candid look at children of mixed race and multiculturalism learning about their identity for the first time through a colourful illustrative story.



Marsha Cosman is a chartered accountant born in Winnipeg. She moved to Cayman Islands (where she met her husband) and now lives in Toronto, Canada with her family.  Marsha is of Caribbean descent married to a man of Irish descent. After the birth of her first child, she struggled to find storybooks her son could learn about his mixed heritage. She uses her own experience to write this book about children questioning their appearance and acceptance in society.

A fun learning book for any age which will aid in the prevention of bullying and the acceptance of differences. To find out more and to purchase click here



Thursday, 27 June 2013

Mixed Race Day

Today, June 27th is Mixed Race Day in Brazil. As reported by Wikipedia, Mixed Race Day was first celebrated in Brazil in 2005 as a reference to the twenty-seven mixed-race representatives elected during the 1st Conference for the Promotion of Racial Equality. Mixed Race Day honors all those who possess multi-ethnic origins.

Guardian Newspaper
Brazil is a racially mixed country where a large population of people of different races mix together. Many hope that this might lead the way for a better less racist global society. However, as reported by Fox News you need only turn on the TV, open the newspaper or stroll down the street to see clear evidence of segregation.

In Brazil, whites are at the top of the social pyramid, dominating professions of wealth, prestige and power. Dark-skinned people are at the bottom of the heap, left to clean up after others and take care of their children and the elderly.

The 2010 Brazil census showed African-Brazilians in the majority for the first time.
Over 50% of Brazilians now define themselves as black or mixed race compared with 47% whites and this marks the first time in which black and mixed race people officially outnumbered whites.

Nearly all TV news presenters in Brazil are white, as are the vast majority of doctors, dentists, fashion models and lawyers.  Most maids and doormen, street cleaners and garbage collectors are black. There is only one black senator and there never has been a black president.

A decade of booming economic growth and wealth-redistribution schemes has narrowed the income gap between blacks and whites, but it remains pronounced. In 2011, the average black or mixed-race worker earned just 60 percent what the average white worker made. That was up from 2001, when black workers earned 50.5 percent what white workers made, according to Brazil's national statistics agency.
Earlier in June there was another mixed race celebration which took place in USA.  Loving Day on 12th June commemorates a date in history when the Supreme Court of America ruled to disband all anti-miscegenation laws in 1967 (laws that made mixed race marriages illegal). Loving vs Virginia was an important Supreme Court case, but it was also the story of a real couple’s love. Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving grew up in Virginia, USA. They fell in love and decided to get married. However, in 1958 the law forbade people of different races to marry each other in many US states – including Virginia. Loving Day

Lessons must be learned from the Brazilian experience. How can Mixed Race Day and other celebrations of mixed race such as Loving Day in USA be used to celebrate the growing numbers of mixed race people as well as promote a more equal and fair racial global society?

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Where are the Dolls ?


Ok, so you want to purchase a doll for your daughter, niece or granddaughter which reflects their ethnicity. Or you live in a family where some of the members are from another race, or you just want your child to have a doll which reflects a racial background other than their own. You pop down to your local high street shops and what do you find? No Black, no Asian and no Mixed race dolls..... And I'm talking about cosmopolitan London here!!  If you hunt high and low, they can be found (see list below), but I am yet to find a Mixed Race Family dolls house family.

As a mum, grandma and aunt, I know how important it is for children to grow up in an environment which reflects their ethnic and cultural mix. It is also important that they develop an appreciation of other cultures, especially now that we have become such a diverse global society. Dolls and action figures support children's learning and development in many, many other ways too; including pretend and imagination play, caring and emotional development. They also improve fine motor skills when the child removes and puts back on clothing and does their hair.

Here is a link to an interesting article by Diedre Ware  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diedre-a-ware/black-dolls_b_2741845.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Take a look at what can be done with a Barbie Doll Natural Dolls Rock and http://beadsbraidsbeyond.blogspot.co.uk.  They should come ready made!

It is important that there are ranges of dolls and action figures which reflect all the children in our society. I'm on a mission to find them and list where they can be purchased here on this site. If you have any recommendations, please contact me.

Here are some of the companies I have found so far...........

Mixed Streets added 3/12/14
Website selling mixed race products

Rooti Dolls added 20/1/14
Dolls that speak African languages

Desi Dolls added 4/10/13
Dolls that speak the “Desi “ languages, ie. Languages spoken in the Indian sub continent 

Kids Like Me added 13/8/13
Black and mixed dolls
The Puppet Company added 24/6/13
Racially mixed puppets and dolls

Black Beauty Dolls added 20/3/13
A big range of black and mixed dolls

Icecreamtoysandbooks added 18/3/13
A good range of dolls and resources

Eduzone Multi-cultural resources
Puzzles, dolls and other educational resources added 18/3/13

Play Merrily Toys
They have a good range of multicultural dolls. added 26/3/13

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Mo Farah is Celebrity Dad of the year

British Olympic Champion Mo Farah has been named  Celebrity Dad of the Year



      Mo was born in Somalia and Tania's parents are from Yemem.




We can all remember the lovely scenes of Mo with heavily pregnant Tania and his stepdaughter Rhianna celebrating at the Olympic games.


Tania gave birth to twin daughters, Aisha and Amani just weeks after he won double Olympic gold in the 5,000m and 10,000m. He dedicated his Olympic medals to the babies.

In an article in the Standard he is reported to have said:

"I'm just so happy that people feel I'm being a good dad. It's such an honour."

"The best part (of fatherhood) is being able to come back and see the girls," he said.

"Even when I'm exhausted from training, I get home and see them and suddenly I feel amazing again.

"To have three beautiful daughters is a blessing that I am grateful for every day."

Mo tries to be a hands-on father but admits: "Tania is definitely better at changing nappies than me!
To find out more about Mo check out his website http://www.mofarah.com/#events

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Need 4 Success

http://need4success.blogspot.co.uk/

Warren Ryan is a truly inspirational young man.  Born in 1989 to a young single mum in a part of Oxford, notorious for it's crime, gang culture and drugs, his story is one of a fight against a generational cycle of adversity.

Stepfather one and dad to two of his siblings, subjected Warren's mother to a reign of domestic violence;  'we would hear my mums screams , I would lock my brother and I in my room, but the doors didn't block the sound out. I would cry as loud as I could to stop him hitting my mum. I never forget the time when I saw him smash my mums head against the front door, the image of blood and tears running down my mums face haunts me to this day'. Stepfather two perpetuated the reign of domestic violence and was father to his youngest sister.

Warren became man of the house by his ninth birthday. However, his mum was unhappy without a partner and began to neglect her children turning to drugs for solace. Mum's next partner wasn't violent, but what he did do was introduce her to crack cocaine. Eventually the neglect of her children led to his mother being reported to Social Services and the four children being put into Foster Care.

This, however, isn't a story of doom and gloom.  Warren's story is one which shows that despite being dealt a poor hand of cards at birth, through sheer strength and determination adversity can be overcome; the future is not necessarily a foregone conclusion. Today, Warren is a successful Counsellor, inspiring young people through social media and in schools, prisons and care homes throughout England. In addition he has trained his body 'to the limit'.  This is his video called  'The Need4Success' which received 5000 views in it's first week.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9CRg_VCvnrA

Warren is a truly inspiration young man.  He has found faith in God and a self belief which demonstrates how resilience can help people overcome life's adversities. He realises that he can't change his past, and that it made him who he is. However, he discovered that he can take control of his future and that by helping others he can find purpose and reward in his life.  To read a full account of Warren's story and to contact him, please check out his website.  This is a link to his forthcoming events  http://need4success.blogspot.co.uk/p/evants.html


Friday, 14 June 2013

Mixed Race Identity and Social Media

http://www.nadiabrowncow.com/
Research Participants Required for Master's Thesis.

Nadia is a Zimbabwean student who is currently based in Switzerland. She is looking for research participants who are prepared to be interviewed for approximately 45 minutes on Mixed Race Identity and Social Media. Interviews will take place via telephone or Skype.

Participants must either create content or engage with social media regarding mixed race identity. If you can help, please contact Nadia Riepenhausen at nadia.riepenhausen@gmail.com 

Monday, 10 June 2013

House of Loulee



At House of Loulee the main aim is to make fashion fun for kids and their families. The wide range of garments, accessories and gifts are all completely inspired by wonderfully vibrant 100% cotton African Wax prints. The unique handmade children's wear has been tried and tested by kids, so whilst each item has little people in mind attention has also been paid to the practicality that adults require from children's clothing. The full collection is available to buy at http://www.houseofloulee.co.uk/ or by visiting a mobile boutique at various events across the UK. (Visit www.facebook.com/houseofloulee for forthcoming event details)

Lucy the creator and designer of the brand says that the House of Loulee has been a long time in the making. The idea has been in her mind since she was unable to take up an offer at a place at the London School of Fashion. Based in East London the cultural diversity  that she was born into and brought up around has given her great inspiration, enhancing her love for fashion and design. I personally adore the elephants. 
They will make a great accessory to an outfit as shown in this picture or an original 1st present for that special new addition to the family.

New garments are added to the website regularly. The vibrant colorful African prints will keep your family looking and feeling sharp in the summer and warm in the winter. Please take a look at the online store to check out the children's collection which is increasing every few weeks.

If you have any questions, special requests or just need some help with ordering please give them call and they will be happy to help you.


Friday, 7 June 2013

The Girl Who Fell From The Sky

I was truly disappointed when I finished reading this award winning book.  I was so engaged with the story that I could have done with another chapter or two. I highly recommend that you check it out.

Click here to purchase
The fictional tale is a heartrending  story about difficult childhoods, class, racial struggle and resilience. The book is set in the 1980s and tells the story of Rachel, an 11-year-old mixed race girl who has somehow survived a fall from a Chicago apartment building that killed her mother and siblings. She goes to live with her African-American grandmother in Portland. Here she embarks on a journey of self discovery.  She has until this point had little experience of her black culture. She is fair skinned with blue eyes, so struggles with her identity as she tries to fit in with the predominately black culture. She is at the same time, trying to deal with her grief and to understand the events that led to the tragedy in Chicago. Interwoven with her voice are those of Laronne, who knew Rachel's mother and helped piece together the mystery through her mother's diary and Jamie, a boy who witnessed the events.  Jamie aka Brick who is black, and mixed race by generation has his own story of adversity which is a sad and compelling read in itself.  The Girl Who Fell from the Sky explores issues of identity that many mixed race people (regardless of their mix) will relate to, no matter where or when they grew up.

Heidi W. Durrow's debut novel has received positive reviews worldwide and is winner of the Bellwether Price For Fiction.
For more information about the book and it's author Heidi Durrow check out http://heidiwdurrow.com/