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Summary

The Times 100 best books to read for summer 2021

Mixed-race is the fastest-growing minority group in Britain. By the end of the century roughly one in three of the population will be mixed-race, with this figure rising to 75 per cent by 2150. Mixed-race is, quite literally, the future.

Paradoxically, however, this unprecedented interracial mixing is happening in a world that is becoming more and more racially polarized. Race continues to be discussed in a binary fashion: Black or white, we and they, us and them. Mixed-race is not treated as a unique identity, but rather as an offshoot of other more familiar identities - remnants of the 20th century 'one-drop' rule ('if you're not white, you're Black') alarmingly prevail. Therefore, where does a mixed-race person fit? Stuck in the middle of these conflicts are individuals trying to survive and thrive. It is high time we developed a new understanding of mixed-race identity better suited to our century.

Remi Adekoya (the son of a Nigerian father and a Polish mother, now living in Britain) has come to the conclusion that while academic theories can tell us a lot about how identities are socially constructed, they are woeful at explaining how identities are felt. He has spoken to mixed-race Britons of all ages and racial configurations to present a thoughtful and nuanced picture of what it truly means to be mixed-race in Britain today. 

A valuable new addition to discussions on race, Biracial Britain is a search for identity, a story about life that makes sense to us. An identity is a story. These are our stories. 

©2020 Remi Adekoya (P)2020 Hachette Audio UK

Critic reviews

"Barack Obama had a special talent for making different kinds of people feel comfortable around him because of his biracial life experience, says Adekoya. By the same token, Adekoya himself seems poised to become one of the most important and subtle new voices in Britain's never-ending conversation about race." (David Goodhart, Unherd)

What listeners say about Biracial Britain

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important ready for anyone

loved it. I finally felt seen a must read for anyone. very important gext.

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Powerful voices, much needed perspectives

Unlike certain other books on the topic of identity that spend the first chapter or so justifying why the author is the font of knowledge to try and disuade the reader from critical/diverse thinking, Remi Adekoya has done a beautiful job of allowing these real life testimonies to speak for themselves. My family has been very mixed for generations and I found solace reading this for even though I don't have the added complexity of racism because I appear white, this book still speaks to anyone who has felt that intrinsic parts of their identity are not permitted to exist because they are the 'wrong' colour. It powerfully demonstrates the vast array of different experiences that exist under this unifying connection, and that these cannot be thrust into a simplistic little mixed race tick box. I find some (not all!) mono-racial people who have been raised predominantly in their own unmixed circles and whose identity has always fully belonged in one 'tribe', can naturally struggle not to put their own experience onto deciding who I am, or fathom the connections that can run deep within someone inspite of how they look or how society receives them. I would definitely recommend this book to those groups too.

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  • 11-05-21

Brilliant!

I am mixed race and never anything that reasonated so much. Well worth a listen for an insight into our experience.

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Finally, a look into the mixed race experience

Loved this book. I am mixed, Irish, Moroccan and Indo-Fijian and this was the first time I've listened/read something that touched on and represented my lived experience. A triumph!

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One of the most impactful readings in my life.

As a Biracial person living out in the countryside of the U.K. having these stories of people like you is arguably the most empowering experience you could ask for. These stories help you understand the trails and tribulations of all Biracial people and even those not of your ethnic group you can relate to. For myself personally growing up not knowing any of my Caribbean culture, I related just as much with the a lot of the Asian-white mix stories (where that is more common) as I did with the Black-white mix stories. There is a lesson to learn form every story even if it’s not of your own background and I recommend, even if your mono-racial, listening to this book.

The insight is invaluable and the only reason it wasn’t 15/15 is because in one story he edited a word in at post. But outside that, this book is genuinely perfect. There’s something for everyone in here.

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A real gem

Explores the stories of mixed raced Britains with care and insight to show just how truly diverse identity is. A brilliant read.