Black Britain and the Politics of Race in the Twentieth Century
This essay examines a growing literature on postcolonial Black Britain that seeks to suture the ties between prewar and postwar histories of Black political activity in Britain. By examining how people of African descent articulated the political conditions of being Black in metropolitan Britain during the 20th century, recent studies have shown how non-state actors shaped ideas about the relationship between race and citizenship. In unearthing the myriad of ways that people of African descent navigated the politics of being both Black and British, this body of work has begun to offer critical perspectives on postcolonial Black Britain’s place within the political history of the African Diaspora. Moreover, this essay argues that new work on Black Britain and the politics of race yields fruitful ground for dismantling some of the artificial historiographical partitions that have oftentimes separated metropolitan race politics in the postwar era from the broader history of empire, decolonization, and transnational anti-racist movements organized around the pursuit of Black freedom.
Open access article
Citation : Perry, K. (2014) Black Britain and Race Politics in the Twentieth Century. History Compass, 12(8), pp. 651-663.
Research Group : History Research Group
Peer Reviewed : Yes