Student project explores the experiences of women who entered into mixed Black Caribbean and White British relationships in Leicester between 1948 and the 1970s

A local mature student studying at our University is keen to hear from women willing to share information about relationships they are in/have had with men of different ethnic backgrounds to themselves.

The study will specifically examine relationships between Black Caribbean and White British heterosexual couples that were formed between 1948 and the 1970s.

Sue Bishop (pictured), currently studying for a Master’s degree in History, is just about to start her postgraduate dissertation in the School of History, Politics and International Relations.

Sue’s work aims to uncover the memories women have of their daily lives as girlfriends, partners, wives, possibly mothers and widows. She wants to identify where women found support for their relationships and the strategies they used to mitigate familial and social objections if they came across them. The project will also assess the impact of the relationships on the women’s sense of identity.

Sue said: “For many people during that early period after the Second World War, the idea of a woman entering into a romantic relationship with someone with a different ethnic heritage, would have been considered a significant transgression of social norms. I want to explore what being in such relationships was really like for women.

“The focus of the study is to uncover how these relationships began and then developed, for example, where courting took place, and where and how the couples lived. Much has been written about the children born to mixed couples in Britain, but little research has been carried out to uncover the personal experiences of their mothers, and those women in similar relationships who did not have children, who were living in a society that was coming to terms with the effects of post-war Commonwealth immigration.”

As part of the project, Sue is keen to hear from Black Caribbean and White British women who, respectively, entered into relationships with White British and Black Caribbean men between 1948 and the 1970s, and who would like to be part of this study.

The research project is to be completed by the end of summer 2017.

To arrange an interview with Sue Bishop please contact her on sb649@student.le.ac.uk

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