How did a distinct and powerful Black British identity emerge? In the 1950s, when many Caribbean migrants came to Britain, there was no such recognised entity as "Black Britain." Yet by the 1980s, the cultural landscape had radically changed, and a remarkable array of creative practices such as theatre, poetry, literature, music and the visual arts gave voice to striking new articulations of Black-British identity. This new book chronicles the extraordinary blend of social, political and cultural influences from the mid-1950s to late 1970s that gave rise to new heights of Black-British artistic expression in the 1980s. Eddie Chambers relates how and why during these decades "West Indians" became "Afro-Caribbeans," and how in turn "Afro-Caribbeans" became "Black-British" - and the centrality of the arts to this important narrative. The British Empire, migration, Rastafari, the Anti-Apartheid struggle, reggae music, dub poetry, the ascendance of the West Indies cricket team and the coming of Margaret Thatcher - all of these factors, and others, have had a part to play in the compelling story of how the African Diaspora transformed itself to give rise to Black Britain.
Eddie Chambers is Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Art History, University of Texas at Austin, USA, where he teaches the art history of the African Diaspora. He gained his Ph.D. from Goldsmiths College, University of London and between 2003 and 2009 he was a Visiting Professor, Art History, at Emory University, Atlanta. Since the early 1980s Eddie Chambers has been organizing and curating artists' exhibitions in Britain and a range of other countries, including the US, Australia and Jamaica. He is the author of Black Artists in British Art: A History since the 1950s (I.B.Tauris, 2014).
ForewordIntroductionChapter One - De street weh dem seh pave wid goldChapter Two - The Black 70sChapter Three - Rasta This and Dreadlocks ThatChapter Four - Leggo de PenChapter Five - Africa: The Call of the ContinentChapter Six - Fyah! Chapter Seven - Picture on the WallChapter Eight - Failing the Cricket TestChapter Nine - Conclusion - (Dawning of a) New Era