The Guardian at 200: Windrush histories and mythologies of race in Britain

19 May 2021

Kennetta Hammond Perry and Kehinde Andrews lead this two-part lecture that explores the Windrush story.

How – and why – did the Windrush scandal happen? Did it really begin with the “hostile environment” policy introduced by the Conservative Party in 2010, or do the foundation stones to the UK’s ideas about race and migration run much deeper?

In this essential two-part lecture, Dr Kennetta Hammond Perry and Professor Kehinde Andrews will draw on historical fact to demystify the notion that the Western economy owed its bounty to scientific advancements, industry and democracy – and was instead built on violence, slavery and colonialism.

Kennetta will first lead an informative lecture focusing on the roots of the Windrush story, dissecting how we tell stories about Britain as a nation in regards to race and social injustice. With her, you will explore how mythologies about race in Britain have been carefully constructed, and how this discourse has obscured crucial elements of the story in both the past and the present.

Following from Kennetta’s lecture, Kehinde will guide you through a talk on the current conversation surrounding race, racism and inequality in the UK – drawing links between Britain’s violent imperialist legacy to the language used in racial discourse today. A year after the global Black Lives Matter protests, and four decades since the Black People’s Day of Action and the Brixton riots, Kehinde will also explore where the conversation might travel in the future.

Course Content

  • Dr Kennetta Hammond Perry on Windrush histories and the mythologies of race in Britain
  • Professor Kehinde Andrews on the current conversation surrounding racism in the UK
  • Audience Q&A

This course is for …

  • Anyone interested in learning more the history of ideas in relation to race, Empire and the UK
  • Anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of Black British history as well as the current issues surrounding racism in the UK

Explore the radical ideas that have upturned history and shaped the way we think now – and learn how we can use these progressive ideas to build a better future – in our interactive lecture series, Ideas in Progress, taught by leading Guardian writers and academics making waves in the intellectual world. Each event will also include a suggested set text selected by our speakers for you to continue your learning journey to be purchased as a ticket add-on. This session’s book is London is the Place for Me: Black Britons, Citizenship and the Politics of Race by Kennetta Hammond Perry. Please note, books can only be dispatched to UK addresses.

Tutor Profile

Kennetta Hammond Perry serves as Director of the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre at De Montfort University in Leicester, UK where she is also a Reader in History. Her research interests include Black British history, mechanisms of state violence, transnational race politics, Black women’s history, archives of Black Europe and anti-racist movements for citizenship, recognition and social justice throughout the African Diaspora. She has published widely, including a book on race politics and Black political organizing in postwar Britain titled London Is The Place For Me: Black Britons, Citizenship and the Politics of Race (Oxford Press, 2016). Currently, she is researching histories of state-sanctioned racial violence and completing a second book on the life and death of David Oluwale.

Kehinde Andrews is Professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City University. His latest book, the New Age of Empire: How Racism and Colonialism Still Rule the World was released by Penguin in February 2021, a prequel to the 2018 release Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century, which explores the untold history of Black radical politics. , and he is editor of the Blackness in Britain book series. Kehinde has also written opinion pieces for the Guardian, the Independent, the Washington Post and CNN. He is the founder of the Harambee Organisation of Black Unity, and is co-chair of the Black Studies Association.

Course Details

  • Wednesday 19 May 2021
  • Time: 6pm-8.30pm (BST)

6pm BST | 7.30pm CEST | 10.30am PDT | 1.30pm EDT

If you are ordering a book with your ticket, you should receive your book in 10 working days. If the book is on pre-sale you will receive your book 3-5 working days after the release date. We are currently only able to deliver books within the UK.

This masterclass is available globally. If you are joining us from outside the United Kingdom, please use this time zone converter to check your local live streaming time.

You will be sent a link to the webinar two hrs before the start time. Please email if you have not received the access link within one hour of the scheduled start time.

All Guardian Masterclasses are fully accessible but please contact us at if you have any queries or concerns.

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