Windrush: The Irresistible Rise of Multi-Racial Britain

 
9780007329885: Windrush: The Irresistible Rise of Multi-Racial Britain

Broadcaster Trevor Phillips and his novelist brother Mike retell the very human story of Britain's first West Indian immigrants and their descendants from the first wave of immigration in 1948 to the present day. Windrush: The Irresistible Rise of Multi-Racial Britain opens with the memories and impressions of the survivors of the voyage of the Windrush, the troop ship which brought the first West Indian immigrants to Great Britain in 1948. Fifty years on, the migrants tell an epic tale of British life in the twentieth century, through the witness of their descendants, friends, neighbours and colleagues and the testimonies of politicians who made the key decisions alongside those who were then opposed to the presence of the black settlers. Windrush moves through the crucial events of British social history in the second half of the twentieth century: the great riots of the late fifties and early sixties, the hysteria of Powellism, the remodelling of England's inner cities and the current passionate debates about the meaning of Englishness. Concluding with a portrait of multi-racial Britain in the present day, Windrush is a celebration of the black British and of the new heritage Britain will carry forward into the twenty-first century.

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Review:

'One of the most important books ever to have been published on the black British experience' Independent 'Invaluable! a fascinating and informative panorama of the experiences of the people who came to England in 1948, and who paved the way for their many descendants' Literary Review

From the Back Cover:

PUBLISHED IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE MAJOR BBC TV SERIES 'WINDRUSH'

This is the epic and untold story of Britain’s black population and its impact on the politics, culture, identity and self image of British society.

‘We were full of expectation. Nobody knows exactly what you’re going to. Some of the people, when we arrive on British soil and people see chimneys and the houses, they thought they were factories. They said – oh boy, plenty of work at this place, seeing the chimneys, not knowing that was for warmth. And they were all jolly, joyful.’

Of all the epic tales still to be told of British life in the twentieth century the most gripping is the story that started fifty years ago with a thirty day journey across the Atlantic in an ageing merchant ship, the Empire Windrush. The voyagers were five hundred West Indians who were to become the catalyst of far reaching and significant changes in British society. For the first time, here were communities from outside the British Isles that could not blend into the background. British society faced an entirely new challenge.

'Windrush: The Irresistible Rise of Multi Racial Britain' opens with the memories and impressions of the survivors of that first voyage, and continues through the witness of their descendants, friends, neighbours and colleagues and the testimonies of the politicians who made the key decisions alongside those who were, at the time, opposed to the presence of the black settlers. 'Windrush 'moves through the crucial events of British social history in the second half of the twentieth century: the great riots of the late fifties and early sixties, the hysteria of Powellism, the remodelling of England’s inner cities and the current passionate debates about the meaning of Englisheness. Concluding with a portrait of multi racial Britain in the present day, 'Windrush' is a celebration of the black British and of the new heritage Britain will carry forward into the twenty-first century.

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