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Beyond the Windrush Generation and Black British Subjects: The Afro-Caribbean in Britain

Jerome Teelucksingh

In 1948, the boat S.S Empire Windrush made its first trip from the Caribbean to Britain. After this historic maiden journey, in the post-World War Two era, there were successive waves of West Indian migrants into Britain. My proposed paper will examine the extent in which the Afro-Caribbean migrants in various communities in England have undergone successful acculturation and assimilation. These areas will include London, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool and Birmingham.

There was been a noteworthy involvement of Afro-Caribbean persons in religion, sports, culture, education and politics in England. In addition to the positive aspects, my research will also examine the stereotypes and racism endured by Caribbean Blacks inclusive of their involvement in radical groups, riots and accusations of police brutality.

The proposed paper will examine the issue of gender, particularly the involvement of women in Afrocentric
groups such as the Organization of Women of Africa and African descent (OWAAD). Also highlighted will be outstanding Caribbean women as Claudia Jones and her contribution to the development of Carnival and propagation of West Indian culture in England.

There will be an exploration of the creation of unique Caribbean identity which deliberately sought to create a clear distinction between those immigrants from the Caribbean and those from the African continent. Additionally, this identity was reformulated and nationalism divided since the Afro-Caribbean was no longer a British subject in a far flung corner of the British Empire but now under direct rule.


Questions for Workshop 1

  • How are Blacks in England portrayed in the media ?

  • What is the impact of the observance of Black History Month in England and Europe ?

  • Do Blacks in England perceive themselves as British or Afro-British ?

  • How does British society view the contributions of Blacks to Britain or England ?

  • Are Blacks in England aware of early Black History ?

  • To what extent is Black History taught at pubic schools and universities ?

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