British women meet black GIs
in Britain’s ‘brown babies’
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The first chapter sets the scene, explaining why there were black American servicemen in Britain during the war, where they were based (largely in south and south-west England, East Anglia, Lancashire and South Wales), how they were segregated (villages and towns were designated ‘white’ or ‘black’), how they met local women (largely at segregated dances and in pubs) and how they were prevented from marrying them. It contrasts the British government’s negative attitude towards the presence of black GIs with the general public’s largely positive welcome, particularly the attraction felt by young British women faced with relatively wealthy, music- and dance-loving, ‘exotic’ strangers. It demonstrates the racism facing those in interracial relationships and points forward to the birth of children from these encounters.

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