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‘Mixed Blessings from a Cambridge Union’ are the memoirs of Professor Elizabeth Anionwu.
It’s 1947 and a clever, sheltered Catholic girl of Liverpool Irish working class heritage is studying Classics at Newnham College, Cambridge. She is the first one in her family to go to university – and then she discovers that she’s pregnant. The father is also a student at Cambridge, studying law. And he is black.
The fallout from their affair is dramatic, but despite pressure to give up her baby for adoption, the young woman has other ideas. Their daughter Elizabeth grows up to be a Professor of Nursing at the University of West London – but there are many twists and turns along the way. What does it mean to be mixed race in Britain? Who are you when told that your origins are 'half Nigerian, half Irish’? Who are you, growing up as a child in care for nine years and without knowing your father? Then living with your mother, being subjected to physical abuse by your stepfather and then being rescued?
This incredible story charts a roller coaster journey from the English Midlands to Nigeria, and from suburban health visiting to political activism and radical nursing. At the same time it brings social history to life – think ‘Philomena meets Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father’! This is a heart-warming and inspiring book about childhood, searching for identity, family, friendship, hope and what makes us who we are.