Journal Article

Black, with a White Parent, a Positive and Achievable Identity


in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 29, issue 2, pages 285-301
Published in print April 1999 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online April 1999 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Black, with a White Parent, a Positive and Achievable Identity

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This paper focuses on black children with a white parent in Britain. It is based on historical, research and theoretical material deriving largely from anti-racist and psychological frameworks and synthesizes and critically reappraises the existing research on black children with a white parent, living with their original families, in Britain. The objective is to ‘normalize’ black children with a white parent by identifying and rejecting the forces that pathologize them. The paper therefore highlights the racism, marginalization and alienation which are likely to impact on their world so that action may be taken to combat these. A lack of clarity as to the personal and political complexity of identity has hampered professional perspectives and intervention. The paper consequently explores, from a postmodernist black perspective, the ‘racial’ self-concepts that are available to this group, identifying their underlying agendas and their consequences. It concludes that the availability of the self-concept ‘black, with a white parent’, offered in the framework of change, multiplicity and individuality, is beneficial. However any consideration of ‘racial’ self-concept or identity is deemed productive only when combined with efforts to reduce racism, marginalization and alienation.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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