A group of writers has launched a pioneering project to document the experiences of mixed race families in West Yorkshire.
Backed by the Arts Council and launched at Seven Arts in Chapel Allerton, Leeds, the Tangled Roots initiative aims to collate the stories of people from multi-racial backgrounds – and pay contributors for their input.
Author Katy Massey, from Chapel Allerton, is coordinating the project.
She said it was prompted by a conversation she had with friends.
“We are all mixed race or bringing up children as part of a multi-racial family,” she said.
“We talked about lots of things, including the stupid things people say to us when we’re out and about.
“‘Are you babysitting for the day?’ I was asked recently, when I was out shopping with my light-skinned, blue-eyed daughter.
“But one mystery eluded us – why don’t we see families like ours in the media or read about our experiences in books?”
Using £26,000 in Arts Council funding, six writers have been commissioned to write about their own experiences.
But members of the public are also being invited to get involved, with those whose stories are chosen being paid.
The aim is to create an anthology of work that includes the writing of ordinary families alongside that of the professionals.
A play and public readings are also planned.
Dr Massey added: “This project will uncover the stories of those families whose ethnic heritage cuts across racial divisions, to reveal compelling narratives which are missed by the common tendency to divide the population into separate racial groups.”
To find out more visit: www.tangledroots.org.uk or email: firstname.lastname@example.org