By Thomas L Blair © 27-09-13
Researching Black London is my passion. Current titles range from the first African and Caribbean settlers in 18th century Georgian times to today’s aspiring urbanites.
Black London eMonograph series, imprint of Editions Blair
The Black London eMonograph series adds an urban focus on Britain’s minorities. It timelines their progress through immigration, settlement, assimilation and mobility.
The series is the first-ever continuous study of African and Caribbean peoples in the nation’s capital. It encourages awareness of a crucial fact: Black Africans and Caribbean people have lived in Britain’s capital for centuries. Generations have shared the bed and board, the life styles, cultural tastes, accents and food habits – “Fancy a pie and mash, mate?) — and, indeed, “africanised” the DNA coils of their white neighbours.
Compiled from decades of academic research, from the Sixties to the present, the Black London eMonograph Series is a boon to educators, policy makers and problem-solvers. See http://socialwelfare.bl.uk/subject-areas/services-activity/community-development/pub_index.aspx?PublisherID=149777&PublisherName=Editions+Blair
The Black London eMonograph series charts my passion for researching the assimilation and mobility of African and Caribbean peoples in urban Britain.
I have applied my own method — the social problems-intervention-solutions approach — to reveal the spaces between dogma, certitude and debate about the Black Experience.
Thus, readers can identify and analyse the monograph elements — the arguments, methodology and sources.
If my motive and means challenge conventional wisdom, the answer is “How better to use past research to understand the present and plan for positive futures for a beleaguered people?”
The building blocks
The opening monograph, the Shaping of Black London, is a timeline of Black London’s origins, problems and prospects. Further titles range from the first Black settlers in the 18th century to today’s denizens of the metropolis.
They build on my decades of research on race, city planning and policy issues in the public realm. This averts the danger of unmediated reference to reality and the facts.
Together, they offer reliable opinion and information about Black London communities over past decades, a boon to academics, professionals and problem-solvers like myself.
Furthermore, the Black London eMonograph series expands the availability of my free researched based electronic texts.
Why the Series matters
These never before published eMonographs matter because:
- They chart the transformation of ex-colonial Black peoples to metropolitan urbanites,
- They seek to inform, educate and inspire regenerative action
- They point to shared identities within diversity
- They help fight negrophobia and enlarge our view of Black humanity
They are in large part research based enquiries
They build on decades of research on race, city planning and policy issues in the public realm. Hence, they meet urgent needs in three respects:
- To highlight urban issues, past and present, that are important to Black Londoners;
- To focus attention on online activism in areas outside formal political participation;
- To harness the new digital technologies that can help information-poor Black communities.
Together, they offer reliable opinion and information about Black London communities over more than five decades, a boon to problem-solvers as well as praise-singers.
Series titles include
The city as a ‘race’ problem charts the entry and formation of Black London’
High rise, hard living: on being Black in London’s tower blocks demonstrates the plight of Black a low-income families.1960s high-rise municipal housing.
Before London: coping with freedom and its discontents shows how the freed Black peoples built new lives in Caribbean cities following emancipation in 1883/84.
A travelling people: Caribbean migration on the verge of departure to Great Britain deals with life before establishing major outposts in Britain in the 20th century.
The Overseas Afro-Asian Students in London 1963 were first to plant the newfound spirit of Afro-Asian independence in to London’s colleges, housing and social services. In the process, as this e-Monograph survey reports, these dark strangers pioneered two of the most important 20th century struggles.