Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Mixed Race & Choosing Sides In The UK's Second City

There were days my sisters and I couldn’t leave the house when we were little because the National Front would march in our area. We grew up in a predominantly white area of Birmingham called Kingstanding, so for us and our mixed race friends, race has always been at the forefront of our lives. We didn’t have the option to avoid it growing up.

The marches would take place during the day, sometimes even outside our school. My mother remembers being handed a leaflet by one of the men. Given they were mostly large groups of males waving the English flag and chanting “NF!”, I can't begin to imagine how angry and intimidated she must have felt.

At 34 years old, I’m considered a millennial and so are my younger sisters, who are 29 and 25. Although there’s nearly a decade between myself, an 80s baby, and my youngest sister who was born in the mid-90s, our experiences of being mixed race aren’t poles apart. At our Catholic secondary school we were amongst just a handful of mixed race classmates. We all question why the school never addressed the National Front marches outside or offered any counselling. They were frightening and potentially traumatising.