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.
Analogies to the Second World War are a recurring theme in modern British history. The seeming orthodoxy in Britain in 2020 is that the nation is at war, on a scale not known since the Second World War. The enemy, this time the coronavirus, is invisible to the naked eye.
Jennifer Davis warns that the official sympathy and acknowledgment afforded to the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in 2020, was not extended in London’s recent past, and may not inform the future of policing policy in the UK.
The last fortnight has seen many statues associated with racism and colonialism torn down. When were they originally put up, and what can that tell about the history of whiteness and empire? Peter Hill explores.
How has the whitewashing of race science and eugenics shaped racist ideologies in the present-day political mainstream? Anne Hanley argues that genetic determinism continues to shape deep-seated assumptions about ‘natural’ racial and gender differences.
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.
‘Anglo-Saxons’ has long been associated with the early English people, but this label suffers from a long history of misuse. Mary Rambaran-Olm explores the racist legacy of this term.