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Britain’S ‘Brown Babies’ : The Stories of Children Born to Black GIS and White Women in the Second World War

Bland, Lucy
Format: Paperback
Publisher: MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY PRESS
Published: September 28, 2021
ISBN: 9781526160119
288 pages, 50 black & white illustrations
Country of publication: United Kingdom

£12.99

This book recounts a little-known history of the estimated 2,000 babies born to black GIs and white British women in the second world war. The African-American press named these children ‘brown babies’; the British called them ‘half-castes’. Black GIs, in this segregated army, were forbidden to marry their white girl-friends. Nearly half of the children were given up to children’s homes but few were adopted, thought ‘too hard to place’. There has been minimal study of these children and the difficulties they faced, such as racism in a (then) very white Britain, lack of family or a clear identity. The book will present the stories of over fifty of these children, their stories contextualised in terms of government policy and attitudes of the time. Accessibly written, with stories both heart-breaking and uplifting, the book is illustrated throughout with photographs.

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