Introduction

  • Zig Layton-Henry
  • Paul B. Rich

Abstract

Ethnic minority politics have progressively increased in importance in Britain. The 1980s have witnessed the emergence of a vocal and articulate group of Afro-Caribbean and Asian politicians. The election of an Asian Mayor of Bradford, Mohammed Hajeeb, and an Afro-Caribbean, Bernie Grant, as leader of Haringey Council, are evidence of non-white progress in electoral politics. A number of politicians from the ethnic minorities, including Bernie Grant, have been selected for safe Labour parliamentary seats so it is likely that the first postwar Asian and Afro-Caribbean members of parliament will soon be elected to Westminster.1 In contrast to these manifestations of non-white involvement and progress in electoral politics there have been the serious anti-police riots in Bristol in 1980 and in Brixton and Toxteth in 1981. The repetition of further rioting in Handsworth and Tottenham in 1985, which in Tottenham included the use of firearms and the horrific murder of a policeman, show the alienation of young people, especially young blacks, in declining inner city areas. The high levels of unemployment, poor housing and lack of opportunities and facilities cause a smouldering resentment which blames an uncaring government and a racist society for subordinating blacks socially and economically. The police as highly visible symbols of authority, being closer to the community than other institutions and being more immediately responsible for upholding law and public tranquillity, have become the focus of much of this general alienation. The politics of race in Britain has thus reached a major watershed and it is appropriate to assess the contribution that scholars have made to analysing and explaining the migration and settlement of Britain’s ethnic minorities.

Keywords

Migration Europe Assimilation Approach Accord Refraction 

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Notes

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Copyright information

© Zig Layton-Henry and Paul B. Rich 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zig Layton-Henry
    • 1
  • Paul B. Rich
    • 2
  1. 1.University of WarwickUK
  2. 2.Centre for Research in Ethnic RelationsUniversity of WarwickUK

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