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.
I have now watched the third and final episode of this series, which was outstanding. The whole series was excellent - it brought social history in Britain to life for me in a way few series in the past have done. Generally, social history bores me, and I much prefer Kings and Queens, high politics, battles, political and military strategies, etc
However, after I started banging the drum for this series, I heard that others had issues with it.
Firstly, people were concerned that the "mixed race" strand of programmes was being run by the BBC during Black History Month, pushing out "real" Black History. I have zero time for this argument. The history of the mixed race community in Britain IS Black History ie an integral and important part of it. In my opinion, the BBC was right to commission the series - it is long overdue that the stories of mixed race couples and their children were shown on primetime TV - and they were right to show it during Black History month - the history of the mixed race community in Britain is part and parcel of Black History. To pretend otherwise is putting your head in the sand, and incredibly disrespectful to mixed race communities.
The other issue people had was that the series was too rose-tinted and celebratory. My response to that is ... so what? Why shouldn't mixed race relationships, communities and children be celebrated? They have had to take enough rubbish over the years - isn't it about time we FINALLY recognised that "mixing"/"blending" races and cultures is a good and a positive thing, not something negative?
A story that I really connected with in the final episode was the young Indian man who had done the unthinkable and married his Black girlfriend. They are now expecting their first child. Even in this day and age, any Asian marrying "out" risks becoming an outcast from their community overnight, and it is inevitable that, in doing so, you will cut yourself off from certain family members, who will just never be able to accept that you have made the right decision. The Asian community also operates a very racist hierarchy system - it is definitely more acceptable to marry a White person than it is to marry a Black person. The young Indian man went ahead and did it anyway - and I say - good on him! I loved the fact that he described himself as the happiest man on earth having done so.
Anyway, I will now get off my soap box and just go on and recommend this excellent series to anyone with an interest in British History!