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Thursday 31 Jul 2014

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Mixed Race Britain – Mixed Britannia

George Alagiah

In this three-part series George Alagiah explores the remarkable and untold story of Britain's mixed-race community and examines through the decades how mixed race has become one of the country's fastest growing ethnic groups. Most of all, the films tell a tale of love, of couples coming together to fight prejudice and create a new society.

The first film (1910-1939) discovers the love between merchant seamen and liberated female workers and witnesses the riots in British port cities as returning white soldiers find local girls in relationships with other men. George hears about the eugenics research examining mixed-race children and learns how Britain avoided the race laws and race hatred of fascism that scarred other countries in Europe.

The second film (1940-1965) sees the Second World War creating a miniature baby boom of “brown babies” born to local British women and African American GIs, and tells the tragic story of the British-Chinese children in Liverpool who lost their Chinese seamen fathers. With the post-war mass immigration, mixed couples, once rare and exotic, were becoming more common and society finally witnessed the first interracial kiss on British television.

In the Seventies a new wave of immigration was settling in Britain, the National Front was on the march and mixed-race families faced violence on the street (film three, 1965-2011). George learns about the debates surrounding mixed race adoption and hears about a 21st story love-story as the couple struggle to overcome the cultural prejudice from the community.

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