The producers of Eastenders must be commended for their decision to touch on the thorny issue of inter-racial relationships in a pre-multicultural and supposedly less tolerant 1950’s Britain. For those too sophisticated to watch this fine soap opera a key storyline at the moment are the revelations that Cora, had feigned a youth miscarriage only for her existing daughter, Tania, to discover her 'dead' sister, Ava, had been alive all along, and, interestingly, was black.
To save you busy readers the bother of deciphering the previous four-lined sentence, the interest in the above scenario lays not in the fact that Cora had felt the need to mask a relationship with a black man back in those days. It’s not even interesting that Tania had managed to track Ava down. What is really getting TheTasteLevel excited is just how Cora, a white woman, managed to give birth to Ava, a black woman. As evidenced from the picture above the actor playing Ava, seems not to be of mixed race, but appears simply to be black – almost as though both her parents are of Afro-Caribbean heritage. Admittedly, the chosen actor may indeed be of mixed race, in which case everything is okay. However is it really the duty of a casual Eastenders fan to feel forced to investigate such matters?
At the risk of turning this blog post from tongue-in-cheek to pious, the confused depiction of people of mixed white and black heritage is not unique to Eastenders. News media regularly ignore President Barack Obama’s duel heritage. Whether this is wrong or right, intentional or unintentional is neither here nor there. It is just annoying. So, having now drawn a tenuous link between the 44th President of the United States and Ava of Eastenedrs all that is left to say is, why did Eastenders producers feel the need to cause such confusion? Comments and suggestions welcome.