While there is an extensive sociological literature concerning race relations, racial discrimination and the process of migration, this has tended to focus on snapshots at a given moment in time. There are few historical accounts of the development of black communities in Britain. This book will be the first social history of a black community in modern times which attempts to weave many aspects of life together to give a more comprehensive understanding of the lives of black people in Britain. The book will address the way peoples’ lives are constructed through racialized identities and how African Caribbean people in Leicester relate to the wider community. It provides an important contribution to the debate concerning the social class profile of different ethnic groups. The work is gendered throughout and discusses the different nature of the experiences of men and women. The 1991 census shows Leicester to have the highest proportion of ethnic minority residents of any city outside London, however compared to other cities with black and Asian communities, it has received little attention from academics. The present study charts the development of Leicester’s African Caribbean community from its origins in the Second World War to 1981 and its changing construction from 'immigrants' to 'ethnic minority'.
’The study of post-war migrations to Britain is given new impetus and direction by Lorna Chessum’s new book…an important and timely study. It is an important contribution to our understanding not merely of one particular city, but to the process which has transformed the face of urban Britain over the past half century.’ Professor James Walvin, University of York, UK '…as a case study about the role of the local state in the shabby history of British race relations, and on the maturation of a community against the odds, Lorna Chessum's book makes a welcome contribution to the literature.' Ethnic and Racial Studies '…this book is a solid attempt to fill in some of the gaps of Caribbean migrants' lives in Britain, and will be of interest to people researching minority communities and their activism.' Patterns of Prejudice 'Chessum has indeed demonstrated how, over time and on the ground, "immigrants" have made a black community which has defined itself in terms of "race" and "class".' Race & Class '…an impressive piece of empirical research and it can be said without any hesitation that [it has] contributed considerably to our understanding of the recialised structure of multicultural Britain.' Contemporary British History
Contents: Researching black history: problems and issues; The background to African Caribbean settlement in Leicester; Race and immigration in the Leicester local press, 1945-1962; Somewhere to live: African Caribbeans and housing, 1945-1981; Race and class: the operation of the colour bar and its consequences for the class position of African Caribbeans, 1945-1981; Too many immigrants: the schooling of African Caribbean children, 1960-1981; Fighting back: anti-racist organizations and the far right, 1962-1981; Leisure and religion, 1945-1981; Conclusion: from immigrants to ethnic minority and the emergence of a community, 1945-1981; Bibliography; Index.