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“Whatever Community Is, This Is Not It”: Notting Hill and the Reconstruction of “Race” in Britain after 1958

  • Camilla Schofield and Ben Jones
Abstract

The impact of the 1958 Notting Hill riots tends to figure in histories of the political right, as a galvanizing force for anti-immigrant sentiment—or as radical catalyst in the transnational history of the Black Atlantic. Meanwhile, the generation of black and white social workers and activists who flocked to Notting Hill after the riots have largely been left out of the history of the British left. This article treats Notting Hill after 1958 as an important locale of new progressive thinking and action. It seeks to consider the political work that the idea of “community” did in Notting Hill, allowing us consider how the politics of antiracism relates in complex ways to the reformulation of progressive politics in postwar Britain. It reveals how black activists came to reappropriate the language of “community” to critique the ameliorative, welfarist approach to antiracism. It also unearths the forgotten eclectic beginnings of Britain's New Left. By excavating the history of community work and New Left activism “from below,” this article traces the ways in which a motley group of Methodist ministers, Christian Workers, students, social workers, and community leaders tested the limits of the liberal paternalism and “universalism” of the postwar social democratic state.

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They thank the anonymous reviewers at the Journal of British Studies, and Becky Taylor, Stephen Brooke, Jonathan Toms, Alan Finlayson, Madeline Davis, Tank Green, and Rob Waters for their very helpful comments. They also thank Madeline, Rob, and Tank for sharing their unpublished research.

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1 Nandy, Dipak, Race and Community (Canterbury, 1968), 9.

2 Dipak Nandy, interview by Michelynn Lafleche, 21 February 2009, Nottingham, The Struggle for Race Equality: An oral history of the Runnymede Trust, 1968 – 2008, British Library Sound Archive, London.

3 Nandy, Race and Community, 10, 11.

4 Nandy, 10. For a discussion of the shifting uses of the term “progressive” in British politics, see Robinson, Emily, The Language of Progressive Politics in Modern Britain (Basingstoke, 2017).

5 There is a rich literature on these global dimensions of black activism in postwar Britain. See, for example, Sivanandan, Ambalavaner, “From Resistance to Rebellion,” Race and Class 23, no. 2–3 (October 1981): 111–52; Schwarz, Bill, “‘Claudia Jones and the West Indian Gazette’: Reflections on the Emergence of Post-Colonial Britain,” Twentieth Century British History 14, no. 3 (January 2001): 264–85; Burkett, Jodi, Constructing Post-Imperial Britain: Britishness, “Race” and the Radical Left in the 1960s (Basingstoke, 2013); Kelley, Robin D. G. and Tuck, Stephen, eds., The Other Special Relationship: Race, Rights, and Riots in Britain and the United States (Basingstoke, 2015); Perry, Kennetta Hammond, London Is the Place for Me: Black Britons, Citizenship and the Politics of Race (Oxford, 2015); Matera, Marc, Black London: The Imperial Metropolis and Decolonization in the Twentieth Century (Oakland, 2015).

6 Jones, Ben, “Slum Clearance, Privatization and Residualization: The Practices and Politics of Council Housing in Mid-Twentieth-Century England,” Twentieth Century British History 21, no. 4 (December 2010): 510–39; Jones, Ben, The Working Class in Mid-Twentieth Century England: Community, Identity, and Social Memory (Manchester, 2012).

7 Smith, Susan, The Politics of Race and Residence: Citizenship, Segregation and White Supremacy in Britain (London, 1989).

8 See Clapson, Mark, Invincible Green Suburbs, Brave New Towns (Manchester, 1998), 4153; Yelling, Jim, “The Incidence of Slum Clearance in England and Wales, 1955–85,” Urban History 27, no. 2 (August 2000): 234–54.

9 “Healthier Bodies, Unhealthier Minds,” Times (London), 5 October 1971.

10 Nandy, Race and Community; Rex, John and Moore, Robert, Race, Community and Conflict: A Study of Sparkbrook (Oxford, 1967).

11 den Otter, Sandra, “‘Thinking in Communities’: Late Nineteenth-Century Liberals, Idealists and the Retrieval of Community,’ in “The Age of Transition: British Politics, 1880–1914,” ed. Green, E. H. H., special issue, Parliamentary History, 16 no. 1 (February 1997): 6784.

12 Stears, Marc, Progressives, Pluralists, and the Problems of the State: Ideologies of Reform in the United States and Britain, 1909–1926 (Oxford, 2002); Grimley, Matthew, Citizenship, Community, and the Church of England: Liberal Anglican Theories of the State between the Wars (Oxford, 2004); Runciman, David, “Laski and Political Pluralism,” in Pluralism and the Personality of the State (Cambridge, 1997), 177–94.

13 Jackson, Ben, Equality and the British Left: A Study in Progressive Political Thought, 1900–64 (Manchester, 2007).

14 The history of the emergence of the New Left in Britain between the twin crises of Suez and Hungary and the establishment of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in 1958 is well documented. See Sedgwick, Peter, “The Two New Lefts,” International Socialism, no. 17 (Summer 1964): 1523; Hall, Stuart, “The Life and Times of the First New Left,” New Left Review 61 (January/February 2010): 177–96; Chun, Lin, The British New Left (Edinburgh, 1993); Kenny, Michael, The First New Left: British Intellectuals after Stalin (London, 1995); Dworkin, Dennis, Cultural Marxism in Postwar Britain: History, the New Left and the Origins of Cultural Studies (London, 1997); Davis, Madeline, “The Origins of the British New Left,” in 1968 in Europe: A History of Protest and Activism, 1956–1977, ed. Klimke, Martin and Scharloth, Joachim (Basingstoke, 2008), 4754. As recent works by Madeleine Davis and Celia Hughes have shown, however, New Leftists did not simply abandon their political activities in the wake of the decline of the peace movement in the early 1960s. See Davis, Madeline, “‘Among the Ordinary People’: New Left Involvement in Working Class Political Mobilization, 1956–1968,” History Workshop Journal 86, no. 1 (October 2018): 133–59; Hughes, Celia, Young Lives on the Left: Sixties Activism and the Liberation of the Self (Manchester, 2015).

15 Hall, Stuart, Familiar Stranger: A Life between Two Islands (London, 2017), 259.

16 Hall, Stuart, “ULR Club at Notting Hill,” New Left Review 1, no. 1 (January/February, 1960): 7172.

17 Waters, Chris, “‘Dark Strangers” in Our Midst’: Discourses of Race and Nation in Britain, 1947–1963,” Journal of British Studies 36, no. 2 (April 1997): 207–38, at 208.

18 Perry, London Is the Place, 89–128.

19 Topalov, Christian, “‘Traditional Working-Class Neighbourhoods’: An Inquiry into the Emergence of a Sociological Model in the 1950s and 1960s,” in “Science and the City” special issue, Osiris, no. 18, 2nd. ser. (2003): 212–33.

20 See Butler, Lise, “Michael Young, the Institute of Community Studies, and the Politics of Kinship,” Twentieth Century British History 26, no. 2 (June 2015): 203–24, at 220–21.

21 As Errol Lawrence has argued, sociological work on racial inequality in Britain by the 1960s and 1970s often blamed the victim by pathologizing West Indian family structures rather than focusing on understanding the mechanisms of systemic racism. Lawrence, Errol, “In the Abundance of Water the Fool Is Thirsty: Sociology and Black ‘Pathology,’” in The Empire Strikes Back: Race and Racism in 70s Britain, ed. Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (London, 1982), 95142. See also Bush, Barbara, “Colonial Research and the Social Sciences at the End of Empire: The West Indian Social Survey, 1944–57,” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 41, no. 2 (2013): 451–74; Helen McCarthy, “Pearl Jephcott and the Politics of Gender, Class and Race in Post-War Britain,” Women's History Review, 12 June 2018, doi.org/10.1080/09612025.2018.1472896.

22 Michael Young, “Small Man: Big World: A Discussion of Socialist Democracy,” Labour Party pamphlet, 1949, Notting Hill Social Council File, DC/94, Chesworth Papers, Queen Mary Archives, University of London.

23 Lawrence, Jon, “Inventing the ‘Traditional Working Class’: A Re-analysis of Interview Notes from Young and Willmott's Family and Kinship in East London,” Historical Journal 59, no. 2 (June 2016): 567–93, at 593, 579.

24 Bailkin, Jordanna, The Afterlife of Empire (London, 2012), 29.

25 Bailkin, The Afterlife of London, 29–30.

26 Steinmetz, George, “British Sociology in the Metropole and the Colonies, 1940s–1960s,” in The Palgrave Handbook of Sociology in Britain, ed. Scott, John and Holmwood, John (Basingstoke, 2014), 302–37.

27 Windel, Aaron, “Cooperatives and the Technocrats, or ‘the Fabian Agony’ Revisited,” in Brave New World: Imperial and Democratic Nation-Building between the Wars, ed. Beers, Laura and Thomas, Geraint (London, 2012), 249268; Immerwahr, Daniel, Thinking Small: The United States and the Lure of Community Development (Cambridge, MA, 2015); Zimmerman, Andrew, Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, the German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South (Princeton, 2010).

28 Windel, “Cooperatives and the Technocrats.”

29 Mayo, Marjorie, “Community Development: A Radical Alternative?,” The Community Development Reader: History, Themes, Issues, ed. Craig, Gary et al. (Bristol, 2011), 7582, at 75.

30 Midgley, James et al. , Community Participation, Social Development and the State (London, 1986). See also Immerwahr, Thinking Small; Zimmerman, Alabama in Africa. At the center of the United States federal government's War on Poverty were community development programs modeled on foreign aid.

31 As geographers Ruth Craggs and Hannah Neate have argued, in many ways it makes sense to view the development of metropolitan and (post)colonial urban expertise as two parts of one story, through the movement of ideas through professional networks, international institutions, and individual careers. See Craggs, Ruth and Neate, Hannah, “Post-Colonial Careering and Urban Policy Mobility: Between Britain and Nigeria, 1945–1990,” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 42, no. 1 (March 2017): 4457.

32 See Craig et al., The Community Development Reader.

33 See Batten, T. R., Communities and Their Development: An Introductory Study with Special Reference to the Tropics (London, 1957); Batten, T. R. and Batten, M., The Non-Directive Approach to Group and Community Work (London 1967); see also George Lovell, “T. R. (Reg) Batten and Madge Batten: Non-Directivity and Community Development,” Encyclopaedia of Informal Education 2007, accessed 27 November 2018, http://infed.org/mobi/t-r-reg-batten-and-madge-batten-non-directivity-and-community-development/.

34 For the politics of expertise in colonial Africa, see Hodge, Joseph, The Triumph of the Expert: Agrarian Doctrines of Development and the Legacies of British Colonialism (Athens, OH, 2007).

35 Batten, T. R., Problems of African Development, vol. 2, Government and People (Oxford, 1948), 156.

36 Batten's influence lived on internationally too. Between 1954 and 1972, he and his wife, Madge Batten, also a social worker, went on numerous consultations to train field workers in Ghana, India, Guyana, Trinidad, Liberia, the United States, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Rhodesia, Finland, and Jamaica. See Lovell, “T. R. (Reg) Batten and Madge Batten.”

37 Robinson, Emily et al. , “Telling Stories about Post-War Britain: Popular Individualism and the ‘Crisis’ of the 1970s,” Twentieth-Century British History 28, no. 2 (2017): 268304.

38 Batten's 1962 text Training for Community Development defined the field, and The Non-Directive Approach to Group and Community Work (1967), coauthored with Madge Batten, still appears in contemporary community development readers. See, for example, Craig et al., The Community Development Reader.

39 Natarajan, “Conversations in a Nottingham Welfare Office.” See also Radhika Natarajan, “Organizing Community: Commonwealth Citizens and Social Activism in Britain, 1948–1982” (PhD diss., University of California, Berkeley, 2013).

40 Loney, Martin, Community against Government: The British Community Development Project, 1968–78 (London, 1983), 2.

41 Emejulu, Akugo, Community Development as Micropolitics: Comparing Theories, Policies and Politics in America and Britain (Bristol, 2016), 41.

42 Community Work and Social Change: The Report of a Study Group on Training (1968), 5, as cited in Emejulu, Community Development as Micropolitics, 50.

43 McEwan, Martin, Housing, Race and Law: The British Experience (London 1991), 91.

44 van Reenan, Lionel and Pope, Maggie, “Racism and ACW's Development,” in Community Work and Racism, ed. Ohri, Ashok, Manning, Basil, and Curno, Paul (London, 1982), 1426, at 17.

45 This argument relates to the current work of Marc Matera, whose research reveals that the roots of “race relations” spring from an effort to limit and control African radicalism. Matera, “The African Grounds of ‘Race Relations’ in Britain,” paper presented at the Modern British Studies Conference, Birmingham, UK, 5 July 2017.

46 Immerwahr, Thinking Small, 4.

47 The most perceptive initial sociological and historical analysis was provided by Glass, Ruth, Newcomers: The West Indians in London (London, 1960), 127–46.

48 Randall Hansen argues the impact of the riots was in fact ambiguous at the governmental level, as the government did not want to appear to be pandering to racist violence by passing immigration restrictions. See Hanson, Randall, Citizenship and Immigration in Post-War Britain: The Institutional Origins of a Multicultural Nation (Oxford, 2000); Paul, Kathleen, Whitewashing Britain: Race and Citizenship in Postwar Era (Ithaca, 1997)

49 Pilkington, Edward, Beyond the Mother Country: West Indians and the Notting Hill White Riots (London, 1988), 122.

50 Glass, Newcomers, 196–211.

51 O'Malley, Jan, The Politics of Community Action: A Decade of Struggle in Notting Hill (Nottingham, 1977), 27.

52 Robin D. G. Kelley and Stephen Tuck, introduction to Kelley and Tuck, The Other Special Relationship, 1–6.

53 Schwarz, “Claudia Jones”; Matera, Black London; Perry, London Is the Place.

54 John Rex, review of The Politics of the Powerless: A Study of the Campaign against Racial Discrimination, by Heineman, Benjamin W., American Journal of Sociology 80, no. 5 (March 1975): 1272–75.

55 Perry, London Is the Place; Tank Green, “Digging at Roots and Tugging at Branches: Christians and ‘Race Relations’ in the Sixties” (PhD diss., University of Exeter, 2016); John Davis, “Containing Racism? The London Experience, 1957–1968,” in Kelley and Tuck, The Other Special Relationship, 128–49. See also Brooke, Stephen, “Revisiting Southam Street: Class, Generation, Gender, and Race in the Photography of Roger Mayne,” Journal of British Studies 53, no. 2 (April 2014): 453–96.

56 For early analyses from the New Left and on the activities of the Universities and Left Review Club in Notting Hill, see editorial, “The Habit of Violence,” Universities and Left Review, no. 5 (Autumn 1958): 4–5; Michael Kullman, “Notting Hill Hustings”; Hall, “ULR Club at Notting Hill.”

57 Pilkington, Beyond the Mother Country, 144.

58 Malik, Michael Abdul, From Michael de Freitas to Michael X (London, 1968), 7980, as quoted in Pilkington, 144.

59 Davis, “Containing Racism?,” 128–29.

60 Davis, 129.

61 Davis, 128–29.

62 As cited in Davis, 129.

63 Tank Green, Digging at Roots.

64 Wellings, Martin, “Renewal, Reunion, and Revival: Three British Methodist Approaches to ‘Serving the Present Age’ in the 1950s,” Methodist History 53, no. 1 (October 2014): 2139, at 22.

65 Green, Digging at Roots, 89.

66 Davis, “Containing Racism?,” 129.

67 Perry, London Is the Place (2015); Schwarz, “Claudia Jones”; Sherwood, Marika, Claudia Jones: A Life in Exile (London, 1999); Davies, Carole Boyce, Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of a Black Communist (Durham, 2007).

68 Perry, London Is the Place, 133.

69 Perry, 133.

70 As cited in Green, Digging at Roots, 403.

71 On Cochrane's murder, see the outstanding piece of investigative journalism by Olden, Mark, Murder in Notting Hill (London, 2011).

72 Perry, London Is the Place, 108.

73 Perry, 108.

74 Speakers at this conference included Dr. Kenneth Little, a leading “race relations” anthropologist from the Department of Social Anthropology at Edinburgh University; Pansy Jeffrey; and David Pitt, from the London County Council and leader of the Campaign Against Racial Discrimination. Pearl Jephcott was also in attendance. “The Migrant in the Community, 27 September 1962, at the Notting Hill Methodist Church,” Pansy Jeffrey Papers, GB 0074 LMA/4462/P, London Metropolitan Archives (hereafter LMA).

75 Donald Soper, “The Migrant in the Community, 27 September 1962 at the Notting Hill Methodist Church,” Pansy Jeffrey Papers, GB 0074 LMA/4462/P, LMA.

76 Soper, “Migrant in the Community.”

77 For recent work on the political work of liberal discourses, see Shaw, Caroline, Britannia's Embrace: Modern Humanitarianism and the Imperial Origins of Refugee Relief (Oxford, 2015).

78 Hall, “Life and Times of the First New Left,” 187.

79 Hall, “ULR Club at Notting Hill,” 72.

80 Alice Ritscherle, “Opting Out of Utopia: Race and Working-Class Political Culture in Britain during the Age of Decolonization, 1948–68” (PhD diss., University of Michigan, 2004).

81 For a discussion of the imperial legacies of British internationalism, see Bocking-Welch, Anna, “Imperial Legacies and Internationalist Discourses: British Involvement in the United Nations Freedom from Hunger Campaign, 1960–1970,” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 40, no. 5 (December 2012): 879–96.

82 “Racial Tension,” report no. 1, 28 May 1959, 14, Metropolitan Police Special Branch, HO 325/9, The National Archives.

83 “Racial Tension,” report no. 3, 21 July 1959, 8, Metropolitan Police Special Branch, HO 325/9, The National Archives.

84 Benn quoted in Kynaston, David, Modernity Britain: Opening the Box, 1957–1959 (London, 2013), 258.

85 Hall, “The Life and Times of the First New Left,” 190

86 Hall, 190.

87 Hall, 190, 191.

88 On this earlier history, see Bradley, Kate, Poverty, Philanthropy and the State: Charities and the Working Classes in London, 1918–1979 (Manchester, 2009).

89 Hall, Stuart, “ULR Club at Notting Hill.New Left Review 1: 1 (1960), 71.

90 D. P. Chesworth, “Anatomy of Notting Hill,” unpublished manuscript, DC/46, Chesworth papers, Queen Mary Archives, University of London.

91 See Davis, John, “Rents and Race in 1960s London: New Light on Rachmanism,” Twentieth Century British History 12, no. 1 (January 2001): 6992, at 74–75; Simmonds, Alan G. V., “Raising Rachman: The Origins of the Rent Act, 1957,” Historical Journal 45, no. 4, (December 2002): 843–68.

92 As a Special Branch report into Rachman's activities in 1957–58 noted, “It is known that during the last two years a number of white tenants have been given sums of money ranging from £10 to £150 to vacate their premises, let to them as unfurnished accommodation, after which a few bits of furniture have been installed and the rents considerably increased.” “Report on: Naturalisation, Perec Rachman,” 22 January 1959, NA MEPO 2/9999, Metropolitan Police Special Branch, 14.

93 All quotations from Chesworth, “Anatomy of Notting Hill.”

94 Chesworth, “Anatomy of Notting Hill.”

95 Hall, Familiar Stranger, 259.

96 Chesworth, “Anatomy of Notting Hill.”

97 Owen, Nicholas, “Four Straws in the Wind: Metropolitan Anti-Imperialism, January–February 1960,” in The Wind of Change: Harold Macmillan and British Decolonization, ed. Butler, L. J. and Stockwell, Sarah (Basingstoke, 2013), 116139, at 116.

98 Pansy Jeffrey, interview by Nuala Sanderson, 7 May 1997, as cited in Sanderson, “The Impact of the Struggle for Racial Equality on British Racialised Relations from 1958 to 1968” (PhD diss., University of Southampton, 1999), 125.

99 Alexio Zihute, interview by Camilla Schofield, Luton, 6 March 2015.

100 Zihute, interview.

101 Zihute.

102 Green, Shirley, Rachman (London, 1979), 99.

103 Stuart Hall, interview by Paul Thompson, 6 March 2012, West Hampstead, 43–44, in Paul Thompson, Pioneers of Social Research, 1996–2012. [data collection]. 4th ed. UK Data Service. SN: 6226, http://doi.org/10.5255/UKDA-SN-6226-5 (2018).

104 Hall, Familiar Stranger, 259

105 Hall, 259.

106 See reports in Daily Telegraph (London) and Manchester Guardian, 28 May 1959, in “Race Relations in London in the Years after the Notting Hill Riots,” folder 8, Press Reports, 1959–1961, HLG 117/122/8, The National Archives.

107 O'Malley, Politics of Community Action, 29–30.

108 Green, Rachman, 132.

109 Green, 130.

110 Green, 133.

111 Hall, Familiar Stranger, 260.

112 Hall, 260.

113 Sanderson, “The Impact of the Struggle,” 109.

114 Note that some people at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies did engage in community activism—see, for example, the interviews by Kieran Connell with Chas Critcher (20 February 2015) and Trevor Fisher and Brian Homer (27 March 2015), accessed 28 November 2018, http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/historycultures/departments/history/research/projects/cccs/interviews/audio-interviews.aspx.

115 See Minutes of the Notting Hill Social Council, January to November 1964, DC/94, Chesworth Papers, Queen Mary Archives, University of London.

116 Zihute, interview.

117 Perry, London Is the Place, 136.

118 Reflecting the global dimensions of community work, Chesworth would go on to join Huddleston in building an agricultural school in rural Tanzania and leading the international War on Want charity. Africa I File, DC/48, Chesworth papers, Queen Mary Archives, University of London.

119 Even more, these social workers highlight women's largely forgotten intellectual contributions to the British New Left prior to the Women's Liberation Movement. Similarly, Perry notes that “Black women overwhelming dominated the leadership of the [Inter-Racial Friendship Coordinating Council] and undoubtedly played important roles in shaping the direction and content of the organization's early activities.” Perry, 138.

120 Hall, “Life and Times of the First New Left,” 191.

121 Younghusband, Eileen, Report of the Working Party on Social Workers in the Local Authority Health and Welfare Services (London, 1959); see, for example, para. 638.

122 That is, Central North Kensington. See Jephcott, Pearl, A Troubled Area: Notes on Notting Hill (London, 1964), 11. On Jephcott's innovative methods, see Goodwin, John and O'Connor, Henrietta, “Pearl Jephcott: The Legacy of a Forgotten Sociological Research Pioneer,” Sociology 49, no. 1 (February 2015): 139–55.

123 Jephcott, A Troubled Area, 140.

124 Jephcott, 122–30.

125 Jephcott, 140.

126 Ilys Booker, “Welfare Provisions and Citizens Participation—Plenary Session V,” Sixth Meeting of the British National Conference on Social Welfare, LMA/4196/10/002, Muriel Smith Papers, LMA.

127 Ilys Booker, “Consultation on Community Development.” Scottish Churches’ House, Dunblane, 20 February 1968, LMA/4196/10/004/01, Muriel Smith Papers, LMA.

128 Harris, Jose, “Political Thought and the Welfare State, 1870–1940: An Intellectual Framework for British Social Policy,” Past and Present 135, no. 1 (May 1992): 116–41.

129 Harris, “Political Thought and the Welfare State, 1870–1940,” 137.

130 “Working with Groups—Some Observations,” Report for the National Committee for Commonwealth Immigrants, August 1969, LMA/4462/P/01/030, Pansy Jeffrey Papers, LMA.

131 “Working with Groups.”

132 “Working with Groups.”

133 Booker, “Consultation on Community Development.” The development of the project from its inception up to 1969 is recorded in Roger Milton and Elizabeth Morrison, A Community Project in Notting Dale (London, 1972).

134 “Immigration: Westminster Regional Campaign,” July 1966, LMA/4462/P/01/030, Pansy Jeffrey Papers, LMA.

135 Bate, Stuart C., “The YCW Moves into Soweto and Other Black Townships: 1952 to 1965,” Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae 43, no. 3 (2017): 125.

136 Rossinow, Doug, The Politics of Authenticity: Liberalism, Christianity, and the New Left in America (New York, 1998), 85.

137 Green, Digging at Roots, 93, 117.

138 Rossinow, Politics of Authenticity, 4.

139 “Immigration: Westminster Regional Campaign.”

140 “Immigration: Westminster Regional Campaign.”

141 Notting Hill Social Council Minutes, 4 July 1966, LMA/4462/P/01, Pansy Jeffrey Papers, LMA.

142 Jan O'Malley, interview by Dave Welsh for the Britain at Work Project: Voices from the Workplace, 1945–1995, 18 September 2011, TUC Library Collections, London Metropolitan University, available here: http://www.unionhistory.info/britainatwork/resources/audio.php.

143 O'Malley, interview.

144 O'Malley, interview.

145 Notting Hill Housing Service, acknowledgments, Initial Housing Survey Notting Hill Summer Project 1967: Interim Report (London, 1969).

146 Rustin, “Community Organising,” 196.

147 “Notting Hill Tolerance Only Skin Deep,” Times (London), 29April, 1968.

148 “Notting Hill Tolerance Only Skin Deep.”

149 “Notting Hill Tolerance Only Skin Deep.”

150 Notting Hill Housing Service, Initial Housing Survey.

151 Michael Abdul Malik would go on in 1969 to lead a short-lived Black Power commune in North London called Black House. Williams, John, Michael X: A Life in Black and White (London, 2008).

152 Green, Digging at Roots, 199–200.

153 O'Malley, Politics of Community Action, 50.

154 O'Malley, 51.

155 Green, Digging at Roots, 203.

156 As cited in Green, 203.

157 Green, 203.

158 “Working with Groups.”

159 Patricia Philo, “Notting Hill Today,” Kensington Post, 24 November 1967, as cited in Green, Digging at Roots, 202–3.

160 O'Malley, Politics of Community Action, 49.

161 Green, Digging at Roots, 200.

162 See Hansard, Commons, vol. 783 cc1835–44, 15 May 1969; Notting Hill Housing Service, The Rent Acts and the Housing Market in North Kensington: Memorandum of Evidence to the Francis Committee (London, 1970).

163 Golborne, no. 62 (22 October 1971), no. 65 (12 November 1971), no. 79 (3 March 1972); New Golborne no. 2 (14 April 1972). Both papers are archived in the Kensington Central Library. See also Pryce vs. Golborne Neighbourhood Council, 1973, Race Relations Board, CK 2/1133, The National Archives.

164 O'Malley, Politics of Community Action, 53. See also Baine, Sean, “The Political Community,” in Community Work: One, ed. Jones, David and Mayo, Margaret (London, 1974), 6678. While the Golborne Neighbourhood Council collapsed amid acrimony in early 1973, its institutional legacy was the North Kensington Housing Action Centre, funded by the Grove Community Trust, the Community Relations Commission, Shelter, and other charitable sources. See New Golborne no. 42 (23 February 1972), and no. 43 (2 March 1973); West London Fair Housing Group, The Housing Action Centre in North Kensington, First Annual Report (April 1972), 3–4; all archived in the Kensington Central Library.

165 In May 1971, for instance, the People's Association helped Merle Major, a West Indian mother, and her children to squat in an empty council property in protest at years of inaction in the face of poor management and harassment from her landlord at 62 St. Ervan's Road. In July, the council put a compulsory purchase order on the St. Ervan's Road property, the first time it had used such powers. O'Malley, Politics of Community Action, 109–11.

166 In fact, during the early 1970s, one arm of the state, the Metropolitan police, proved most adept at unifying the interests of black and white community workers—or at very least, against the police, white community workers could see themselves as on the right side of “us versus them.” Three community observers were, for instance, arrested and jailed following a police raid at the Metro Youth Club in September of 1971. The pages of People's News contain a number of reports of police harassment of both white and black residents. As Rob Waters has argued, while the Mangrove trial was a signal moment in the consolidation of “Blackness” as a political identity in Britain, the support the defendants received from allies on the left and in the counterculture revealed a network of affinities that at times transcended the boundaries of race. People's News, vol. 1, no. 42 (10 November 1970), vol. 2, no. 21 (8 June 1970), vol. 2, no. 42 (9 November 1970), vol. 3, no. 17 (3 May 1971), vol. 3, no. 18 (10 May 1971), vol. 3, no. 32 (August 1971), vol. 3, no. 35 (20 September 1971); all archived in the Kensington Central Library. Waters, Rob, Thinking Black: Britain, 1964–85 (Oakland, 2018), chap. 3.

167 Blagg, Harry and Derricourt, Nick, “Why We Need to Reconstruct a Theory of the State for Community Work,” in Community Work and the State: Towards a Radical Practice, ed. Craig, Gary, Derricourt, Nick, and Loney, Martin (London, 1982), 1123, at 20.

168 Editorial, Spectre, no. 1 (July 1968), n.p.

169 James Cummings quoted in “A Matter of Opinion,” Spectre, no. 1 (July 1968), n.p.

170 “Race Relations, 1969.” Spectre, no. 6 (January 1969), 1.

171 For a discussion of the place of paternalism in the social democratic project, see Beer, Samuel, British Politics in a Collectivist Age (New York, 1965); and Lawrence, Jon, “Paternalism, Class, and the British Path to Modernity,” in The Peculiarities of Liberal Modernity in Imperial Britain, ed. Gunn, Simon and Vernon, James (Berkeley, 2011), 147164.

172 On the rise of black radicalism and the influence of African-American liberation in Britain, see Sivanandan, Ambalavaner, A Different Hunger? Writings on Black Resistance (London, 1982); Angelo, Anne-Marie, “The Black Panthers in London, 1967–1972: A Diasporic Struggle Navigates the Black Atlantic,” Radical History Review, no. 103 (Winter 2009): 1735; Bunce, R. E. R. and Field, Paul, “Obi B. Egbuna, C. L. R. James and the Birth of the Black Power Movement in Britain,” Twentieth Century British History 22, no. 3 (September 2011): 391414; Waters, Rob, “Black Power on the Telly: America, Television, and Race in 1960s and 1970s Britain.” Journal of British Studies 54, no. 4 (2015): 947–70.

173 “We Will Sponsor a ‘Race Forum,’” Kensington Post, 3 September 1965, as cited in Green, Digging at Roots, 145.

174 Green, Digging at Roots, 147–48.

175 Green, 148.

176 Green, 150.

177 Mike Philips, “Separatism or Black Control?” in Ohri, Manning, and Curno, Community Work and Racism, 103–20, at 111–12.

178 “There is not, as far as I am aware, any black grouping which calls itself ‘separatist’ … If, for instance, the institutions under discussion happened to be one of the several Polish centres or indeed one of the Irish centres, it is hardly likely that the word ‘separatist’ would be employed.” Philips, “Separatism or Black Control?,” 103.

179 Philips, 105.

180 Rob Waters, “From Race Relations Sociology to Black Cultural Studies: Reading the Politics of ‘Evidence’ through the History of Race,” paper presented at the Modern British Studies Conference, Birmingham, UK, 5 July 2017.

181 Philips, “Separatism or Black Control?,” 105.

182 Philips, 106.

183 Philips, 106.

184 Philips, 106.

185 Philips, 108.

186 Philips, 108.

187 “We Lived across the River,” Radio 4 broadcast, 1 April 1969, MS 4000/2/129, Indian Workers Association Papers, Birmingham Library, 1.

188 “We Lived across the River,” 2

189 Hall, Stuart, “Old and New Identities, Old and New Ethnicities,” in Culture, Globalization and the World System: Contemporary Conditions for the Representation of Identity, ed. King, Anthony D. (Minneapolis, 1997), 4168, at 52–53.

190 Hall, “Old and New Identities, Old and New Ethnicities,” 52

191 “We Lived Across the River,” 12.

192 “We Lived Across the River,” 14.

193 “We Lived Across the River,” 14.

194 Solanke, Iyiola, Making Anti-Racial Discrimination Law: A Comparative History of Social Action and Anti-Racial Discrimination Law (London, 2009), 80.

195 “We Lived across the River,” 13.

196 Rex, John, Race, Colonialism and the City (London, 1973).

They thank the anonymous reviewers at the Journal of British Studies, and Becky Taylor, Stephen Brooke, Jonathan Toms, Alan Finlayson, Madeline Davis, Tank Green, and Rob Waters for their very helpful comments. They also thank Madeline, Rob, and Tank for sharing their unpublished research.

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Journal of British Studies
  • ISSN: 0021-9371
  • EISSN: 1545-6986
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-british-studies
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