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Kamal Ahmed on being proud to be mixed-race | Comment is free | The Observer

In the good old days, otherwise known as the 70s, I used to wear rainbow-coloured jumpers, cords with a wide leg that flapped over my Adidas Gazelle trainers (brown suede, three beige stripes - absolute classics) and rode a Raleigh Arena racing bike made in Nottingham with drop-handlebars and five whole gears. It was a happy life. The only black people you saw on television were playing for the West Indies cricket team or were being made fun of in Mind Your Language on ITV. "Mixed-race" hadn't really been invented. Not yet.

Sometimes in the playground I was called jungle-bunny by children who could already see that picking on difference was a useful way of defining themselves. And getting into fights. Sometimes I was called half-caste. It bothered me, sometimes it made the tears prickle behind my eyes. Sometimes. Down the road in Southall, west London, home to a large population of Asian first- and second-generation immigrants, the National Front marched with Union Flags and swastikas painted on their Doc Martens.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sun Nov 9th, 2008 at 10:06:04 AM EST

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