Imperial Intimacies: A Tale of Two Islands

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs, United Kingdom on 2019-09-26 00:11Z by Steven

Imperial Intimacies: A Tale of Two Islands

Verso Books
416 pages
6 x 9-1/4
Hardcover ISBN: 9781788735094
Ebook ISBN: 9781788735124

Hazel V. Carby, Charles C. and Dorothea S. Dilley Professor of African American Studies; Professor of American Studies
Yale University

Imperial Intimacies by Hazel V. Carby

A haunting and evocative history of British empire, told through one woman’s search through her family’s story

“Where are you from?” was the question hounding Hazel Carby as a girl in post–World War II London. One of the so-called brown babies of the Windrush generation, born to a Jamaican father and Welsh mother, Carby’s place in her home, her neighbourhood, and her country of birth was always in doubt.

Emerging from this setting, Carby untangles the threads connecting members of her family to each other in a web woven by the British Empire across the Atlantic. We meet Carby’s working-class grandmother Beatrice, a seamstress challenged by poverty and disease. In England, she was thrilled by the cosmopolitan fantasies of empire, by cities built with slave-trade profits, and by street peddlers selling fashionable Jamaican delicacies. In Jamaica, we follow the lives of both the “white Carbys” and the “black Carbys,” as Mary Ivey, a free woman of colour, whose children are fathered by Lilly Carby, a British soldier who arrived in Jamaica in 1789 to be absorbed into the plantation aristocracy. And we discover the hidden stories of Bridget and Nancy, two women owned by Lilly who survived the Middle Passage from Africa to the Caribbean.

Moving between the Jamaican plantations, the hills of Devon, the port cities of Bristol, Cardiff, and Kingston, and the working-class estates of South London, Carby’s family story is at once an intimate personal history and a sweeping summation of the violent entanglement of two islands. In charting British empire’s interweaving of capital and bodies, public language and private feeling, Carby will find herself reckoning with what she can tell, what she can remember, and what she can bear to know.

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Some Anthropological Characteristics of Anglo-Negro Children

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, United Kingdom on 2012-06-07 02:49Z by Steven

Some Anthropological Characteristics of Anglo-Negro Children

The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland
Volume 73, Numbers 1/2 (1943)
pages 57-73

K. L. Little, M.A., Ph.D.
The Duckworth Laboratory
University Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Cambridge

I. Introduction

Although fairly large Negro communities have been in existence in Liverpool, Cardiff, London and other ports of the kingdom since the time of the Great War, very little advantage has so far been taken of the opportunities ostensibly available there for the study of racial mixture. The work of Miss R. M. Fleming (1939), who examined a large number of Anglo-Negro and other crosses, mainly in Liverpool, is an exception, but she designed her investigations more from the standpoint of family than of group inheritance. In the present inquiry, which was carried out during a series of visits to Cardiff, Hull and Liverpool in the summer months of 1941, 1942, and 1943, an attempt has been made—so far as the nature of the material allows—to examine certain aspects of mixture on linen more familiar to the anthropologist. The data presented relate to groups rather than to individuals. Perhaps a word on the methodological implications of this point may be permitted. It is evident, in the popular discussion of the topic, that a great deal of confusion has arisen in this country, as well as elsewhere, through failure to appreciate the significance of individual, as opposed to group, situations. Yet the issue is quite plain, provided its nature is understood. Since the term “race” is essentially a concept relating to a group of people, it is incorrect to speak of certain results following from racial mixture unless such results can be shown as well marked characteristics of a “hybrid” population, regarded not as the product of individuals genetically more or less unrelated to each other, but as the product of racially unrelated groups of individuals. This significant distinction has been made somewhat pungently by Ruth Benedict (1942) in a book in which she points out that miscegenation, like race, is an abstraction: the mating of two persona is a reality. It is possible, also, that a great deal of unnecessary controversy, as well as confusion, would be obviated if it was realised more widely that biological differences between individual members of the same racial group are usually greater than the differences between typical individuals representing different racial groups. Marked “overlapping ” in anthropological characteristics is nearly always found in comparisons between different populations, even when they are racially quite distinct.

The urgency of clarification of this matter needs to be emphasised. Until the biological and sociological aspects of the problem are recognised as quite separate parts of the field, and until the problem has been shorn of biological mysticism, the study of racial mixture in this country, considered as a topic concerning human biology, will remain a difficult and unenviable task for the investigator.

II. Anthropometric Criteria Employed

The data which are analysed in the following Tables and Figures relate to some 460 male and female ” English” and Anglo-Negro children, the offspring of members of the seafaring communities of the ports mentioned. Most of these subjects were living in Cardiff and Liverpool, and they had an environment, in their dockland habitat, which is not unlike that of other children of the same social and economic class as themselves. On nearly all these subjects some two dozen measurements and a number of observations regarding the colours of hair, eye and skin, and the condition of the teeth, were taken. The object of the investigation was to compare the Anglo-Negro (“hybrid”) and ” English ” populations in terms of the central tendency, variation and growth of physical characters. The latter sample may reasonably be regarded as being made up by juvenile representatives of one of the parental stocks from which the former was derived.   As wide an assortment of characters as was practicable was employed, and having regard to the racial elements concerned—-i.e. Negroid and Caucasoid — special attention was paid to features such as nasal breadth and shape, thickness of lip, colour of skin, etc., which make the clearest distinction between the parental groups. In view of the relative consistency of environmental factors, it was thought best to include for secondary consideration some of the more modifiable characters such as stature, height sitting, and weight…

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Racial mixture in Great Britain: some anthropological characteristics of the Anglo-negroid cross (A Preliminary Report)

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2011-06-21 04:46Z by Steven

Racial mixture in Great Britain: some anthropological characteristics of the Anglo-negroid cross (A Preliminary Report)

Eugenics Review
Volume 33, Number 4 (January 1942)
pages 112-120

K. L. Little
The Duckworth Laboratory
University Museum of Ethnology, Cambridge

With the exception of a large number of family studies secured by Miss R. M. Fleming, little anthropological attention has so far been given to the question of racial crossing in this country, although the presence of some fairly extensive hybrid communities in most of our sea-port cities affords an excellent opportunity for anthropometric investigation, particularly in respect to the Anglo-Negroid cross. The present paper, comprising a brief statistical analysis of the measurements of some ninety Anglo-Negroid or “Coloured” children, together with a smaller “White ” sample of forty drawn from the same environment, represents what it is hoped may be merely a prelude to a wider and statistically more adequate survey of the subject, especially as far as the adult element is concerned. The present data, including those of a small number of adults with one F1 adult exception, were gained entirely from a community in Cardiff, where all the subjects were born. In the course of the enquiry the opportunity was taken of examining a further sample of some eighty subjects mainly of Anglo-Arab and Anglo-Mediterranean parentage. These, however, have been omitted from the present discussion for considerations of space. The Anglo-Negroid adult sample is as yet too small for statistical treatment, and has similarly been omitted, although a few particulars as to its characters are given below.

Briefly stated, the aspects of racial crossing it is intended to cover comprise such questions as the segregation of both quantitative and qualitative physical characters in the hybrid population, the comparative variability of the respective groups, and comparative differences in growth and sex differences. In the light of these considerations it was decided to. employ as wide an assortment of characters as was practicable, and having regard to the specific racial stocks involved, i.e. Negroid and Caucasoid (White), to give special attention to those features which show clear differentiation between the parent stocks. In terms of the present facilities these may be listed as skin, hair and eye colour, lip thickness, nasal width and height and the corresponding nasal index, and the ratio of nasal depth to width. In addition, a fairly large number of characters possessing genetical rather than racial significance were chosen, and these included such features as head length, head breadth, facial length, etc., etc., from which the relevant cephalic, facial, fronto-jugal and other indices were obtained. Finally, two modifiable characters in the shape of stature and sitting height were included….

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Philanthropic racism in Britain: The Liverpool university settlement, the anti-slavery society and the issue of ‘half-caste’ children, 1919-51

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2011-04-02 19:00Z by Steven

Philanthropic racism in Britain: The Liverpool university settlement, the anti-slavery society and the issue of ‘half-caste’ children, 1919-51

Immigrants & Minorities
Volume 3, Issue 1 (1984)
Pages 69-88
DOI: 10.1080/02619288.1984.9974570

Paul B. Rich

The history of racial ideology in Britain has focused mainly on extreme groups of the political right. Less attention has been paid to more ‘respectable’ forms of racism. This paper attempts to redress the balance. It concentrates upon two groups, the Anti-Slavery Society and the Settlement Movement and, with particular reference to Liverpool and Cardiff between 1919 and 1951, examines their attitudes towards Britain’s ‘half-caste’ population.

The history of racial ideology in Britain has tended mostly to focus upongroups on the extreme right-wing fringe to the exclusion of what may be termed ‘middle opinion’. This rather narrow range of analysis, centred around the yardstick of fascism and its political variants, can lead to the downplaying in certain aspects of British racial attitudes which can be seen to represent a continuation, in a somewhat different guise, of Victorian racial ideas. It was Hugh Tinker who originally suggested this possible linkage between more modern British race attitudes and what he termed ‘neo-Victorianism’, though the thesis has been given no substantial institutional anchorage. This article, therefore, proposes to look at one particular set of institutional links between the Victorian era and the more modern arena of race relations in the 1920s and 1930s by looking at the role of the Anti-Slavery Society and the Settlement Movement in the debate on ‘half-castes’ in the seaport towns of Liverpool, and to a lesser degree Cardiff, between the wars.

This issue is of importance to students of race in Britain for a number of reasons. Both the Anti-Slavery Society and the Settlement Movement had roots in the Victorian philanthropic concern with the lower social orders and the less privileged. Though the anti-slavery movement had its heyday during the middle of the nineteenth century before and after the American Civil War of 1861-5, it left a strong legacy in middle-class liberal thought in Britain which was to enjoy a renewed upsurge on the issue of ‘forced labour’ in the Belgian Congo during the Edwardian years through the campaign of E.D. Morel and the Congo Reform Association. Similarly, the university settlement movement was a product of middle-class concern with the lower class—especially in London—in the 1880s as rising class consciousness and residential separation between classes made older and more paternalistic methods of social control increasingly ineffective. Both these Victorian movements carried on in…

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‘Invisible’ history of mixed race Britain becomes the subject of a major study

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2009-06-14 06:05Z by Steven

…The ‘mixed’ population is now the fastest growing ethnic group in Britain. While the substantial increase in the size of this group is a recent phenomenon, population mixing has happened throughout the 20th century and earlier. By the 1920s there were settled mixed race populations in a number of British seaports, including Liverpool and Cardiff, brought about in part by visiting African and Asian seamen, and significant communities in other cities including London and Manchester.

University of Kent, “‘Invisible’ history of mixed race Britain becomes the subject of a major study”, News Release, (May 15, 2008).

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