Born to black GIs: from the demonisation of father and child to the search for American roots

Bland, Lucy (2020) Born to black GIs: from the demonisation of father and child to the search for American roots. Journal of Transatlantic Studies, 18 (3). pp. 333-352. ISSN 1754-1018

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/s42738-020-00052-z

Abstract

It is estimated that roughly 2000 children were born to black GIs and British women during the Second World War. They were labelled by the African-American press the ‘brown babies’—a name far preferable to that given by Britons, namely ‘half-castes’. All the children were born illegitimate as the US army would not allow black GIs to marry their white girlfriends. For nearly every British ‘brown baby’ their American father was a total mystery. Whether or not they were in a children’s home or living with their mother or grandmother, most of Britain’s ‘brown babies’ were told little or nothing about their birth fathers, and the little they were told was often inaccurate or misleading. This led many of them, once they were older, on a search for their fathers. This article charts that search and the love affair they developed with the USA. In the process, it reveals what being part-American means to these GI offspring in terms of their identity and allegiance.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Second World War, African-American soldiers, Mixed-race children
Faculty: Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2020 09:23
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:52
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/705752

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