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Title: Creolising London : Black West Indian activism and the politics of race and empire in Britain, 1931-1948
Author: Whittall, Daniel James
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis explores black West Indian activism in London between 1931-1948. It does so through a focus on those black West Indian activists who involved themselves in the work of four campaigning political organisations, namely, the League of Coloured Peoples (LCP), the International African Friends of Abyssinia (IAF A), the International African Service Bureau (IASB), and the Pan-African Federation (PAF). The thesis argues that the presence of, colonial subjects in 1930s and 1940s London contributed to a process of creoIisation, whereby complex internal and external colonial pressures worked to transform the imperial metropolis. The thesis therefore uses the study of black West Indian activists in Britain in order to trace the geographical networks, 'contact zones,' spaces and places through which this process ofcreolisation took place in 1930s and 1940s London. In order to do so, it focuses primarily on certain distinct modes of political practice in which the LCP, IAF A, IASB and PAF engaged. In particular, chapters focus on how these organisations sought to contest the racialisation of space in London and the wider empire through a range of attempts to open establishments which countered the prevailing colour bar; utilised public gatherings as sociable spaces in which diverse political work could be undertaken; and produced and circulated periodicals that provided a platform on which to debate the contours of the African diaspora and the fundamental features of modern racism and racially-based identities. The thesis also explores the relationship between these different modes of political practice through a study of the response of black West Indian activists in Britain to the Caribbean labour and social unrest of the 1930s. Overall, the thesis aims to contribute to the understanding of how the politics of race and empire were constituted in 1930s and 1940s London .
Supervisor: Lambert, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Caribbean ; race ; empire ; London