British Black Power: the anti-imperialism of political blackness and the problem of nativist socialism

Narayan, John (2019) British Black Power: the anti-imperialism of political blackness and the problem of nativist socialism. The Sociological Review, 67 (5). pp. 945-967. ISSN 0038-0261

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The history of the US Black Power movement and its constituent groups such as the Black Panther Party has recently gone through a process of historical reappraisal, which challenges the characterization of Black Power as the violent, misogynist and negative counterpart to the Civil Rights movement. Indeed, scholars have furthered interest in the global aspects of the movement, highlighting how Black Power was adopted in contexts as diverse as India, Israel and Polynesia. This article highlights that Britain also possessed its own distinctive form of Black Power movement, which whilst inspired and informed by its US counterpart, was also rooted in anti-colonial politics, New Commonwealth immigration and the onset of decolonization. Existing sociological narratives usually locate the prominence and visibility of British Black Power and its activism, which lasted through the 1960s to the early 1980s, within the broad history of UK race relations and the movement from anti-racism to multiculturalism. However, this characterization neglects how such Black activism conjoined of explanations of domestic racism with issues of imperialism and global inequality. Through recovering this history the article seeks to bring to the fore a forgotten part of British history and also examines how the history of British Black Power offers valuable lessons about how the politics of anti-racism and anti-imperialism should be united in the 21st century.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
21 March 2019Accepted
16 April 2019Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: anti-imperialism, Black Power, political blackness, racial capitalism, racial neoliberalism
Subjects: CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-01 - sociology, social policy and anthropology > CAH15-01-02 - sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Dept. Criminology and Sociology
Depositing User: John Narayan
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2019 10:12
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 15:55

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