In the early morning on Sunday 18 January 1981, a fire broke out at 439 New Cross Road in the London Borough of Lewisham. The fire was almost certainly the result of a deliberate racist attack. Thirteen young Black Britons lost their lives as a result.
After the recent release of the Policy Exchange’s controversial report on ‘Academic freedom in the UK’, Evan Smith argues that the ‘crisis’ over free speech is nothing new. Debates over ‘no platforming’ have a much longer history than is commonly perceived.
A culture of hyper-vigilantism and the conflation of skin colour with criminality did not begin with the abolition of slavery or with the current age of mass incarceration. Joseph Yannielli and Christine Whyte explore its 18th-century origins in metal chains, runaway advertisements and the establishment of modern policing.
Meleisa Ono-George introduces her new feature for HWO on community-engaged histories of Black Britain – “Power in the Telling” – which explores how history is not just about what is known, but also about the process and politics of its production.
At a moment when pundits continue to pronounce that multiculturalism has ‘failed’ in Britain and across Europe, this symposium will explore the role and responsibilities of anti-racist scholarship.