October 7th, 2011

me: ooh!

Mixed Race Britannia: Wedding Bells (episode 1 of 3): 1910-1939

Last night I watched Part 1 of 3 episodes on the history of mixed race people in Britain. Behind the cut are the notes I wrote while watching it.

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I have long wondered why Britain, especially in the cities, seemed to be better racially integrated than a lot of the US. Britain is still majority white, while the US is much more diverse. From this programme I inferred that, at least in the early twentieth century, it was because the first group of persons of colour to arrive in Britain were pretty much all male, and their numbers tiny in comparison to the overall population. When they decided to settle, they had to integrate. The only ladies around for them to date/have sexy tiems with/marry were white girls. So the second generation were pretty much immediately mixed-race, and immersed into both cultures directly through their family. Since the proportion of persons of colour was small enough to be fairly non-threatening, integration was a good deal smoother than in countries where communities were larger and already organised into families. Those tended to stay segregated for longer.