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Old 12-27-2011, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Austin, Texas
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I study African-American history and culture avidly and I'm sure many of you are probably somewhat aware how Africans that were brought here to American during the slave trade developed their own very unique culture.

Is there a similar type of deviation from the mainstream among blacks in the UK? I haven't had very many encounters with blacks from the UK, however my grandfather on my dad's side moved to Wales about 10 years ago and I have spent some time with his friends and neighbors there and they seemed pretty assimilated compared to blacks in the U.S.

Anybody care to shed some light?

Thanks!
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Purgatory
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UTHORNS96 View Post
I study African-American history and culture avidly and I'm sure many of you are probably somewhat aware how Africans that were brought here to American during the slave trade developed their own very unique culture.

Is there a similar type of deviation from the mainstream among blacks in the UK? I haven't had very many encounters with blacks from the UK, however my grandfather on my dad's side moved to Wales about 10 years ago and I have spent some time with his friends and neighbors there and they seemed pretty assimilated compared to blacks in the U.S.

Anybody care to shed some light?

Thanks!
Much more assimilated as you put it. If you spoke to a British black person on the phone, it is unlikely that you'd be able to tell if they were black or not. The UK doesn't really have black ghettos either as in the US. We don't have quite the recent history of apartheid and the racism in the UK tends to be directed at Indians and Pakistanis.

British black people are British. The UK isn't colour coded like the US, where you are either black, white or Hispanic.
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:02 AM
 
Location: London
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Originally Posted by dragonborn View Post
Much more assimilated as you put it. If you spoke to a British black person on the phone, it is unlikely that you'd be able to tell if they were black or not. The UK doesn't really have black ghettos either as in the US. We don't have quite the recent history of apartheid and the racism in the UK tends to be directed at Indians and Pakistanis.

British black people are British. The UK isn't colour coded like the US, where you are either black, white or Hispanic.

It's easy to become complacent and ignore history but let's not forget that the racist skinhead movement that spread to the United States did originate here in the UK. It was originally a non-violent movement that ironically enough brought together Jamaican and British influences and where dub reggae from Jamaica was the music that symbolised the original scene. Skinhead - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This film 'Made In Britain' reflects the widespread ignorance and hate that was certainly present in sections of British society in the 80's even if the main protaganist himself is more of a character who uses his skinhead identity to vent his anger and frustration with the world rather than someone overburdened by genuine racial hatred or real ideological antipathy.
Made in Britain - Movie Trailer - Blue Underground - YouTube

There was also sporadic rioting in the 1980's in areas such as Brixton, Tottenham, Luton and Toxteth, Liverpool where stringent stop and search measures angered the black community and this outrage manifested itself in fierce rioting, in fact some of the worst seen ever in the UK. PC Keith Blakelot was hacked to death in the Broadwater Farm riots of 1987.

Brixton riots 1981:-
Battle 4 Brixton pt1 of 6 - YouTube



To this day the top universities such as Oxford and Cambridge are overwhelmingly elitist and overwhelmingly white. And whilst we don't have ghettoisation on a par with the United States we're certainly alot further away from ever seeing a black Prime Minister and we do see similar problems in the black community as regards allegations of stop and search and police harrasment etc... For instance, black people are still 6 more times as likely to be stopped and searched and Asians twice as much as white citizens:- BBC News - Police stop and search powers 'target minorities'

We still have 'Operation Trident' a police squad solely dedicated to tackling black on black gun crime in London too so to say race is no longer an issue in the United Kingdom is being slightly premature and presumptuous. Even if race relations are alot better now than they ever have been and alot less of an ongoing struggle when compared to the entrenched segregation endemic in some parts of the United States.

Last edited by Fear&Whiskey; 12-29-2011 at 09:03 AM..
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Purgatory
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Trident was set up to actually help the black communities in London. It may have gone off the rails a bit, but it has difficulty recruiting officers from ethnic minority groups:

"Some say there are not enough black officers in Trident. First of all, 8 per cent of Trident’s officers are from black and ethnic minority communities. But we are a unit dealing with very violent crime and high-risk criminals that requires experienced detectives. The pool of experienced officers doesn’t contain many who are from black and ethnic minority communities, though they are coming through the organisation. What matters is the skills of each officer, their empathy, their compassion. "

The Metropolitan Police's Operation Trident on Gun Crime

I stand by my words though...that most racism in Britain is directed towards Asian groups, especially and more recently those of Muslim faiths.

I'm not saying that black people in Britain don't suffer from racism. The school I went to was virtually all white, but my experience of knowing many black people back home is that there isn't as much of a black culture as the USA and more would identify themselves as Jamaican or Nigerian or just British for example. The same applies to France. Look at the footballer (and legend) Thiery Henry. He is the quintessential Frenchman, yet black.

I've also notice that many Americans cling to whiteness, as if it were some sort of cultural identity. Definitely weird to me.
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:48 PM
 
Location: London
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Weird, I'll say? Cling to whiteness ? Yowsa! Can't say I've ever noticed that myself. In my experience Americans are more likely to associate with their home towns, cities or particular state than they are their ethnicity.

But when it comes to clinging to 'whiteness' then one visit to the House Of Commons, The House Of Lords or the top boardrooms in the country would leave you under no illusions that the UK was very proficient at clinging to its 'whiteness' itself. These places at the top table of British society are still, even in 2011 overwhelmigly male dominated as well as being the refuge of the priveleged, privately educated white middle-upper class Oxbridge and Cambridge elites.
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Purgatory
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Originally Posted by Fear&Whiskey View Post
Weird, I'll say? Cling to whiteness ? Yowsa! Can't say I've ever noticed that myself. In my experience Americans are more likely to associate with their home towns, cities or particular state than they are their ethnicity.

But when it comes to clinging to 'whiteness' then one visit to the House Of Commons, The House Of Lords or the top boardrooms in the country would leave you under no illusions that the UK was very proficient at clinging to its 'whiteness' itself. These places at the top table of British society are still, even in 2011 overwhelmigly male dominated as well as being the refuge of the priveleged, privately educated white middle-upper class Oxbridge and Cambridge elites.
Can't say I disagree with you about England's elitism and classism, but it has nothing to do with skin colour.

This is partly why I want an independent Scotland. We can rid ourselves of the English class division and enjoy a more open and progressive society.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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I have a lot of family in England and I'd say they have their own culture. Haven't you ever heard Garage?


sound of the streets documentary - YouTube
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Originally Posted by dragonborn View Post
The UK doesn't really have black ghettos either as in the US.
What about Brixton and parts of Hackney?
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Old 12-31-2011, 07:39 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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There is a distinct culture that seems mostly an Afro-British thing, mostly in London, exemplified by the 'Jafaican' type accent as represented in the video above, listening to hip hop (both local and American) and being associated with maybe a certain socio-economic group. Some White, Asians (mostly talking South Asians in Britain) have adopted this culture too. The majority of blacks, however, aren't part of any sort of sub-culture as African Americans are and mostly, I believe, talk like other Britons.
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Old 12-31-2011, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Yorkshire, England
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The term 'Afro-British' (which I've never heard before, the terms you'd be more likely to hear are 'Afro-Caribbean' or 'Black British'), overlooks the fact that many if not most black people over here are the children or grandchildren (maybe even great-grandchildren now) of people who came here of their own free will directly from the West Indies from about 1948 onwards, and if they identify with anywhere other than here it would be the country of their more recent ancestors rather than those from centuries ago.

Perhaps it's different for those whose families haven't been here as long or who grew up in heavily ethnic areas but the black people I've personally known who've been born and raised here generally don't speak or behave all that differently to the rest of us if at all, and generally have English-sounding first names and often surnames too (less so for those of direct African ancestry). By and large those who behave like us are generally accepted as part of us, less so for the groups which have been slower to integrate.
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