What it feels like to be Mixed Race?

Race permeates everything in Bim. It’s always there even when not visible – always hiding just below the horizon. The politicians bring it out appropriately or not, and often with the intent of causing division or distraction.

But we have to admit, it’s not like the old days even if some folks wish it were so. It was much easier to be a politician in Barbados when all you had to do to deflect valid criticism was to say “whites!” or “curry boys!”.

Jody is a mixie Brit with Bajan heritage. Here’s what she says…

silhouette scribbles

Someone recently asked me what it felt like to be mixed race and this made me realise, I’ve never really written before about my own ethnicity and culture. Firstly we have the term mixed race – before anyone gets all political with this, mixed race is a term I feel completely comfortable with. Now however, we are supposed to say dual heritage instead, just as we are no longer supposed to say half caste which I do find offensive, along with half-breed. I have been called all of these names (and worse).

download (4)I have a British white parent (a mixture of English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh), and a black Caribbean parent whose own parents are from Barbados. Both my parents are British. My Caribbean grandparents emigrated from the West Indies in the early 1950s as the UK is the mother country of Barbados and the British government asked them to…

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Race

12 responses to “What it feels like to be Mixed Race?

  1. pragmatic mixed race person inc Taff

    I have Welsh (rugby cap in the family) English, Viking and Spanish. My kids can add Scottish and French. Were lucky. I suspect there’s more- how do any of us know what we really are?

  2. Can someone, anyone, please tell me how the phuck Britain got to be the
    mother country of a bunch of black people

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  4. robert ross

    The article is very sensitively written. I understand completely what the writer is saying. One of the problems with ‘mixed race’ (the politically correct thing because it’s on all the forms) is that blacks see you as white and whites see you as black. I put this to someone once. The response was: I don’t give a toss. My friends are black and white. I was born here. I love my parents. I have no hang ups. I am ME.”

  5. BFP

    So true, Robert!

    I wish Marcus was still with us. He could write for hours about race and mixed marriages.

  6. robert ross

    I’m sorry I didn’t know him then. I’m sure we’d have been sympatico.

  7. just asking

    I am of mixed race & I don’t have any hang ups about it. In England they call me black, In B’dos they call me white, I don’t give a ‘ite about it. I am ME. I am married to an indian, & have one daughter which in Bim they call white, it’s just the ignorance of people’s thinking & the politicians what they say to get a vote.

  8. gentle jim

    May be easier today but I can tell you it was far from easy for me growing up in the 50’s &60 ‘s.


  10. Konkieman

    Plantation, what the shite that video has to do with the topic, man?

    Great article Jody, and well thought out. Raises many questions that I have encountered in my life and travels. For example:

    What is Obama? Black Dad who was absent, white Mom who also seemed to absent. Raise by his white grandmother who he seems to respect highly. Yet he is considered Black only. But he does not fit the stereotype of the “typical black man” in the US. Is he mixed race in color but white on the inside? Just asking?

  11. Victor

    Why BIM all the time? It means “home” in Nigerian languages but not in Ghana where most Bajans came from. If you want to trace your ancestral DNA feel lucky you came from Ghana. True, most West Africans were and are of the Akan tribe but by the time of the Atlantic slave trade, the nations were clearly separate and languages had become regional. Not by today’s borders, drawn by imperialists. but loosely correct in terms of groups and language. Most Jamaicans came from Nigeria as we know it today.
    See the difference today. Nigeria is oil-rich but the people are very poor. Ghana is doing very well thank you according to the IMF and Boko Haram is not kidnapping schoolgirls there. Ghana is a free country where women play a significant part, VERY significant, in both politics and the economy. There is religious freedom and those who are not Christians still practise their ancient beliefs or follow other religions, as they wish. If you are of Ghanain decent you should feel proud.