Anti-racism in Britain: Histories and Trajectories

Sat, Feb 20, 2021, 9:30 AM – Sat, Feb 27, 2021, 5:30 PM GMT

Concepts of ‘race’ and racism are central to British history. They have shaped, and been shaped by, British identities, economies and societies for centuries, from seventeenth-century enslavement in the Caribbean to the ‘hostile environment’ of the 2010s.

Yet state and societal racism has always been met with resistance. Britain has been home to anti-slavery societies, Pan-African Congresses, and anti-fascist organisations. At a more quotidian level, even those who might not have identified as anti-racist have challenged the racism of their peers, bosses and friends in informal ways. People have challenged and reshaped notions of ‘Britishness’ through dress, art and staking their claim to British identity. The conference will explore the trends and patterns of British anti-racism — its continuities and discontinuities, its fusions and fissions — in order to understand how anti-racism has shaped Britain, and the possibilities for the anti-racist struggles of today and tomorrow.

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