This history course covers some of the core issues that have both propelled people of African origin into Britain and determined their experiences once in London. The course examines the history of the African Diaspora in London over approximately the last 300 years, paying particular attention to changes in the demographic background to this Diaspora and the ensuing debates around the various notions of Blackness.
The context to the course is the growth of London as the hub of an imperial system underscored by notions of race, and the subsequent changes to the metropolis in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. A theoretical underpinning of the course is that London is one of the centres of a Black Atlantic, as understood through the works of Paul Gilroy. The course will open up social relations at the heart of Black London’s history, including class, gender, and sexuality. London has a long history of ideological movements driven by the conditions of the Black Atlantic, such as Abolitionism, anti-colonialism, Pan Africanism, and anti-racist struggles within Britain. All of these will be within the parameters of the course.
Finally, the cultural impact of the Black Atlantic on London will be looked at in all its diversity, including literature, religion, music, fashion, language, and cuisine.
This course may also be registered as HST 300.5.
Department: African American Studies
Semesters: Fall, Spring