Rosemary Adaser: ‘Two-thirds human’ — growing up black in Ireland’s institutions

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Europe, History, Media Archive, Social Work on 2020-11-01 01:59Z by Steven

Rosemary Adaser: ‘Two-thirds human’ — growing up black in Ireland’s institutions

Irish Examiner

Rosemary Adaser

Rosemary Adasar, founder of the Association of Mixed Race Irish.

Ahead of the publication of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes report and as Black History Month ends, survivor Rosemary Adaser describes how mixed-race children were at the bottom of the ladder in institutions here.

OCTOBER was Black History Month, everywhere in Europe, it seems, except Ireland. In the UK, Black History Month is firmly established and, in the last two years, we have begun to celebrate a Black and Green History Month where the historical connections between people of African and Irish descent are celebrated; it is an exciting new development. In June, Black Lives Matter went global, bringing new meaning to Black History Month.

One of Ireland’s best-known mixed-race people was the late, great Christine Buckley, a heroine of mine and a fellow industrial school survivor. Christine was born in 1950s Ireland, as was I. She was far more sensible than I; she married a lovely Irish man, enjoyed a career, had beautiful children, and changed Ireland forever. That was not to be my path.

In the Ireland of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, colourism existed. Efforts to get the good people of Ireland to foster, not adopt, us “difficult and hot-tempered children, especially the girls”, according to a 1966 Department of Education official memo, led to the placement of advertisements in newspapers mentioning how light a child’s skin colour was.

In Margaret McCarthy’s 2001 book My Eyes Only Look Out, one of the interviewees among six mixed-race Irish children fostered to an Irish couple commented that “the darker kids had it worse”. I was one of the darker kids, and I did have it worse…

Read the entire article here.

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My Eyes Only Look Out: Experiences of Irish People of Mixed Race Parentage

Posted in Books, Europe, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Work on 2020-10-31 23:27Z by Steven

My Eyes Only Look Out: Experiences of Irish People of Mixed Race Parentage

Brandon Books
240 pages
5.46 x 0.74 x 8.43 inches
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-0863222849

Margaret McCarthy

Much has been written on the subject of ethnic minorities and the problems they experience in integrating into a predominantly white society, but very little on persons of mixed parentage. Based on interviews, this book provides an eloquent account of the lives of people of mixed race. It comes at an opportune time, as the increasing presence of immigrants, refugees and people of colour has seen increased problems of ignorant prejudice and active racism.

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My Eyes Only Look Out

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Europe, Media Archive, Monographs on 2012-01-24 23:21Z by Steven

My Eyes Only Look Out

Brandon Books
October 2001
236 pages
ISBN: 9780863222849

Margaret McCarthy

Irish people describe the realities of being of mixed race in a mostly white society In the first book of its kind, Irish people describe, in a series of compelling interviews, the realities of being of mixed race in a mostly white society which is only now trying to adjust to the beginnings of the creation of a multicultural society.

Amongst those featured are:

  • Andrew: “I’m blessed to be a mixed-race boy.” Son of a South African mother and English father, he grew up in Galway and now lives in Handsworth, Birmingham.
  • Teresa: “I am still an outsider, but now it feels OK.” Daughter of a German mother and a Nigerian father, Teresa moved as a child to a mainly white area of London, where she was ostracised because of her colour. Now she lives in rural Ireland.
  • Lorna: “If you are mixed race, whether it is a quarter of you or whatever, you are black.” Reared in Ireland, she left for London in her teens, but she always yearned for America, and in her mid-thirties she moved to Miami.
  • Curtis: “A black Irishman, that’s me. Nobody can take that away from me.” A professional footballer with a passion for the game and a deep loyalty to his old clubs and mentors as well as to his present club.
  • Sean: “I rarely, if ever, had any trouble on the pitch.” A Gaelic football and hurling star, he is a graduate in Finance through Irish.
  • Lisa: “In my mind I was always Lisa the dancer.” A bright and popular shop assistant, Lisa’s adoptive parents and natural mother are dead, and she knows little about her natural father, whom she believes was Ghanaian.
  • Ian: “Celebrated as “the first coloured policeman in Ireland”, Ian experiences confusion about his identity.
  • Luzveminda: “I had an ordinary kind of childhood.” A science graduate, she was crowned Rose of Tralee and launched Trí³caire’s African campaign.
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