Start blogging for urban change
By Thomas L Blair © 20 February 2016
“I am convinced that, despite all the race-based marginalisation, the ability to mix, blend, change, radicalise, reinvent and serve up something distinctive in a hostile urban environment is at the core of “being Black in Britain” – Prof Thomas L Blair
#BlackLondonFutures is a timely reminder. We live in an age that needs bold, innovative and creative thinking. The heirs to Black London’s abolitionist, civil rights, cultural and Black Power movements of the 20th Century are gearing up for the 21st Century.
Though separated by generations, young professionals and retirees have the talents for community development so crucial to people of the inner city, I call Black London.
- New Freedomways
Clearly, Many Black Millennials will find new ways of self- and collective expression. Some will be soft power diplomats forging coalitions and caucuses. Others will focus on local issues and working through local leaders.
Radical motivators – believers in the dream –and social media activists will mobilise action. Street artists will spread the word: #BlackLondonFutures matter.
Certainly, Black Londoners will benefit from the city’s changing race-class demographics.
- Imagine the possibilities. Black, Asian and minority ethnics will be more than a third of the 11m London population in 2050. This could empower them as electoral majorities in the inner city boroughs. Alternatively, if vast numbers migrate to Outer London and the suburbs this major redistribution of people will reshape London’s demographic and political map in profound ways.
- Furthermore, Black strivers and aspiring achievers will advance in the new class mobility charts. (The old statuses were a severely divided tripartite of upper, middle and working class).
In the more fluid and porous divisions of the 21st century, Black people will move upwards from the most precarious underclass.
Some Black celebrities and multi-millionaires in sports, fashion, pop culture, crime, business, and politics, may even be accepted in the highest rank of elites.
- However, it will take hard work to step outside the comfort of benign tolerance and create opportunities of a lifetime.
To better #BlackLondonFutures, academics must forsake the ivy towers and link high theory to popular forces. Public intellectuals and parliamentarians must learn to work together for the public good. Urban designers and planners will have to prove they can renew and build public housing without catastrophic effects. Moreover, political and community leaders, workers and youth must rebrand “being Black” as a positive force for change for all.
- Game-changers in diverse communities will seek common goals.
These restless currents will relieve the terrors of disadvantage that beset many Black Londoners. Moreover, thrusting upwards in the urban society and economy, and forward for race equality and justice can broaden opportunities for many people.
- Reader’s benefits
#BlackLondonFutures combines academic features and well-researched citizen’s journalism. There’s a wide-ranging archive of Internet and social media resources, too. Readers will have access to Editions Blair, Black London eMonograph series http://preview.tinyurl.com/qbmnbxs
High quality contributions and comment posts are welcome – new, engaging, and the snappier the better.