Mixed couples, mixed feelings | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 20, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1388-3186
  • E-ISSN: 2352-2437



This study aims to explore to what extent the internalised racism based on black inferiority and white supremacy, as described in 1952 by Fanon in his , is still reproduced in the intimate sphere today, despite increasing diversification in Western societies. I have analysed the narratives of Belgian and Dutch men and women, both white and black, who were at the time involved in intimate black-white relationships. These narratives can inform us about how the binary of internalised racism is played out in such relationships; i.e. how the white partner is dealing with prevalent discourses on whiteness and blackness and how s/he is positioning him- or herself in the relationship. Also, we can learn to understand how the black partner in these relationships perceives whiteness in a white-dominated society that does not acknowledge whiteness as a racialised positioning, and if the same meanings of whiteness are sustained in their relationships. Outcomes of this study can contribute to our understanding of race and whiteness in the specific context of the Netherlands and Belgium and might be particularly interesting in the light of the supposedly global transition from post-colonialism to decolonisation.


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