Sun, 13 Mar 2005
From:

Portrayal of mixed-race women

Helen Kolawole, Guardian News Service, London

Why must mixed-race women always be tragic?

Personally speaking, being rebranded from half-caste to mixed race came as welcome relief. Yet, try as we might to change our image, we tragic mulatresses remain as doggedly woeful as the salivating madwoman in Mr Rochester's attic.

Confused, miserable, and in perpetual limbo, we are now apparently abundant in the world of celebrity. There is the soul singer Alicia Keys (raised in Hell's Kitchen, absent black father); the actress Halle Berry (abusive, absent black father); the Olympic medalist Kelly Holmes (runaway daddy tracked down in Jamaica); and the pop star Mariah Carey (absentee black father, racially ambiguous look).

Now another has joined our ranks. The actress Sophie Okonedo, who received a best supporting actress nomination for Hotel Rwanda, has every prerequisite for official tragic status. As London's Evening Standard said, she fought "against the odds": an absentee Nigerian father, a struggling Jewish mother, a project housing upbringing. Despite her insistence that she is at ease with her heritage, she's being fast-tracked as Britain's Halle Berry.

It is dangerous territory. Berry is rarely mentioned without reference to her "against the odds" life story, which includes spending her childhood not black enough for black folks and too touched with the tar brush for those picky whites. Are you seeing a pattern here?

No sooner had double gold medalist Kelly Holmes crossed the finishing line at Athens last year than the media had her lined up as a subtle, triumph-over-miscegenation story. OK, not so subtle if you consider that Holmes's post-Athens cuttings reveal that she's the mixed-race child of a shiftless Jamaican father raised on a project housing estate in south-east England.

Once these women have been outed as sorrowful wretches, the tribulations of their abandoned white mothers add credence to the stereotype. In the rank hypocrisy of the tabloid, the often vilified single mum is elevated to martyr. Martyr, that is, to the irresponsible ways of black men. These sympathetic write-ups are thinly veiled cautionary tales about the perils of white women having children with black men. But the divergent experiences of these celebrities' lives contrast greatly with the media's agenda.

Has Holmes revealed herself to be irrevocably torn asunder by her raging genes? No, she claims to be blissfully ignorant of race. Does rapper Ms Dynamite come across as the poor little mixed-race girl? Quite the opposite. Like Berry, she clearly defines herself as a black woman and went through an endearing phase of referring to race repeatedly in interviews.

Despite many of the UK's mixed-race communities going back generations, the British media have still to get to grips with how to portray the 700,000 Britons who registered themselves "mixed" in the last census. While they retain the right to flip out the tragedy card when it suits, there are times when it's deemed imperative to pin up the bunting and celebrate diversity.

Considering it took "half-caste" two centuries to be banished from the popular lexicon, it will be a good while before society is ready to leave the tortured mulatto wailing at the curbside.





News Search/Filter
Transaction Rates
16 Aug 18
Buy
Sell
AED1
3,904.98
3,904.98
AFN1
196.77
196.77
ALL1
129.39
129.39
AMD1
29.73
29.73
ANG1
7,772.77
7,772.77
AOA1
53.35
53.35
ARS1
482.14
482.14
AUD1
10,375.77
10,375.77
AWG1
7,995.37
7,995.37
AZN1
8,425.09
8,425.09
BAM1
8,299.56
8,299.56
BBD1
7,171.86
7,171.86
BDT1
169.71
169.71
BGN1
8,319.73
8,319.73
BHD1
38,038.03
38,038.03
BIF1
8.10
8.10
BMD1
14,343.72
14,343.72
BND1
9,493.49
9,493.49
BOB1
2,075.83
2,075.83
BRL1
3,675.14
3,675.14
BSD1
14,343.72
14,343.72
BTC1
91,583,896
91,583,896
BTN1
205.12
205.12
BWP1
1,324.36
1,324.36
BYN1
6,969.22
6,969.22
BZD1
7,134.69
7,134.69
CAD1
10,909.89
10,909.89
CDF1
8.81
8.81
CHF1
14,437.67
14,437.67
CLF1
613,504.02
613,504.02
CLP1
21.48
21.48
CNH1
2,065.99
2,065.99
CNY1
2,068.08
2,068.08
COP1
4.76
4.76
CRC1
25.27
25.27
CUC1
14,343.72
14,343.72
CUP1
562.49
562.49
CVE1
147.19
147.19
CZK1
631.41
631.41
DJF1
80.56
80.56
DKK1
2,182.21
2,182.21
DOP1
287.50
287.50
DZD1
120.29
120.29
EGP1
801.50
801.50
ERN1
956.45
956.45
ETB1
519.14
519.14
EUR1
16,267.66
16,267.66
FJD1
6,765.74
6,765.74
FKP1
18,206.39
18,206.39
GBP1
18,206.39
18,206.39
GEL1
5,780.22
5,780.22
GGP1
18,206.39
18,206.39
GHS1
2,943.81
2,943.81
GIP1
18,206.39
18,206.39
GMD1
297.89
297.89
GNF1
1.58
1.58
GTQ1
1,913.77
1,913.77
GYD1
68.67
68.67
HKD1
1,827.29
1,827.29
HNL1
596.66
596.66
HRK1
2,190.41
2,190.41
HTG1
212.81
212.81
HUF1
50.12
50.12
IDR1
1.00
1.00
ILS1
3,892.81
3,892.81
IMP1
18,206.39
18,206.39
INR1
204.10
204.10
IQD1
12.03
12.03
IRR1
0.33
0.33
ISK1
131.24
131.24
JEP1
18,206.39
18,206.39
JMD1
105.56
105.56
JOD1
20,216.57
20,216.57
JPY1
129.72
129.72
KES1
142.30
142.30
KGS1
210.51
210.51
KHR1
3.52
3.52
KMF1
33.06
33.06
KPW1
15.93
15.93
KRW1
12.61
12.61
KWD1
47,280.81
47,280.81
KYD1
17,207.68
17,207.68
KZT1
39.64
39.64
LAK1
1.68
1.68
LBP1
9.49
9.49
LKR1
89.54
89.54
LRD1
93.32
93.32
LSL1
1,006.22
1,006.22
LYD1
10,276.86
10,276.86
MAD1
1,497.80
1,497.80
MDL1
864.13
864.13
MGA1
4.31
4.31
MKD1
264.18
264.18
MMK1
9.47
9.47
MNT1
5.87
5.87
MOP1
1,773.66
1,773.66
MRO1
40.12
40.12
MRU1
398.99
398.99
MUR1
412.17
412.17
MVR1
927.19
927.19
MWK1
19.72
19.72
MXN1
747.55
747.55
MYR1
3,495.48
3,495.48
MZN1
245.52
245.52
NAD1
1,005.51
1,005.51
NGN1
39.74
39.74
NIO1
447.89
447.89
NOK1
1,695.20
1,695.20
NPR1
128.20
128.20
NZD1
9,405.39
9,405.39
OMR1
37,254.49
37,254.49
PAB1
14,343.72
14,343.72
PEN1
4,323.00
4,323.00
PGK1
4,328.25
4,328.25
PHP1
267.88
267.88
PKR1
116.12
116.12
PLN1
3,764.23
3,764.23
PYG1
2.49
2.49
QAR1
3,939.43
3,939.43
RON1
3,487.43
3,487.43
RSD1
137.90
137.90
RUB1
213.05
213.05
RWF1
16.33
16.33
SAR1
3,823.97
3,823.97
SBD1
1,818.16
1,818.16
SCR1
1,055.33
1,055.33
SDG1
796.69
796.69
SEK1
1,557.02
1,557.02
SGD1
10,392.95
10,392.95
SHP1
18,206.39
18,206.39
SLL1
2.19
2.19
SOS1
24.79
24.79
SRD1
1,923.26
1,923.26
SSP1
110.11
110.11
STD1
0.68
0.68
STN1
660.54
660.54
SVC1
1,638.95
1,638.95
SYP1
27.85
27.85
SZL1
984.80
984.80
THB1
430.35
430.35
TJS1
1,522.29
1,522.29
TMT1
4,098.23
4,098.23
TND1
5,154.61
5,154.61
TOP1
6,207.95
6,207.95
TRY1
2,398.64
2,398.64
TTD1
2,127.88
2,127.88
TWD1
465.08
465.08
TZS1
6.28
6.28
UAH1
522.33
522.33
UGX1
3.83
3.83
USD1
14,343.72
14,343.72
UYU1
457.87
457.87
UZS1
1.84
1.84
VEF1
0.10
0.10
VND1
0.62
0.62
VUV1
132.20
132.20
WST1
5,541.25
5,541.25
XAF1
24.79
24.79
XAG1
211,784.47
211,784.47
XAU1
17,028,223.52
17,028,223.52
XCD1
5,307.47
5,307.47
XDR1
19,983.25
19,983.25
XOF1
24.79
24.79
XPD1
14,201,707.01
14,201,707.01
XPF1
136.32
136.32
XPT1
11,291,959.19
11,291,959.19
YER1
57.28
57.28
ZAR1
984.89
984.89
ZMW1
1,405.97
1,405.97
ZWL1
44.49
44.49
Taxation Exchange Rates
31 Aug 16 - 06 Sep 16
USD 1
13,232.00
AUD 1
10,043.30
CAD 1
10,213.70
DKK 1
1,999.40
HKD 1
1,706.22
MYR 1
3,283.28
NZD 1
9,623.63
NOK 1
1,605.23
GBP 1
17,433.70
SGD 1
9,757.68
SEK 1
1,569.45
CHF 1
13,631.10
JPY 100
13,101.00
MMK 1
11.01
INR 1
197.29
KWD 1
43,920.70
PKR 1
126.23
PHP 1
285.00
SAR 1
3,528.53
LKR 1
91.12
THB 1
382.08
BND 1
9,756.53
EUR 1
14,885.50
CNY 1
1,987.61

Okusi Associates: Indonesian Business & Management Services