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Cover for: Not Quite White

Not Quite White

Woozeer, Laila More by this author...£9.99

What is it like learning from a mother who is privy to a whole different type of privilege than you? When was the first time you realised your boyfriend was dating you to satisfy some weird fetish? How demoralising was it to find out that Princess Jasmine, your sole claim to Disney royalty, was based on a white model? What impact did it have to play the entire Puerto Rican community in West Side Story in your local theatre group? And was Parvati Patil really such an appalling date for Harry?

Part autobiography and part critical commentary, join Laila Woozeer as she blends together stories from her own life, looking specifically at the impact pop culture and media representation has on non-white people and the way they understand themselves, charting a narrative about being mixed race that stems from the 90s until the present day. Her book examines the multi-racial experience: the personal, emotional and psychological impact of being mixed, without being reduced to two separate representations of a person. In the UK alone, "mixed" is the fastest growing census category, and the number of mixed race people has risen by a quarter of a million in just 10 years. But even so, mixed people are placed outside of the conversation - they can speak directly to one of their communities but can't be all of them at the same time. Except, that is exactly how mixed people have to function all day, every day. Most of us agree that Representation Matters - but why? What does that actually mean?

It's important to make these issues real - to attach them to a human emotion or personal journey lest they become an abstract phrase that just gets bandied around every time Hollywood release another Very White cast list. That's where Laila comes in: the face of the lived experience, sharing with you the cruelest and funniest moments of her life for your delectation. The book is routed in her own specific journey and introduces concepts as she chronologically learned of them. She incorporates child psychology, academic texts, and race theory without losing the personal connection, using anecdotes and experience to truly get to the core of the issues explored.

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