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Labour and the Left in the 1980s$
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Jonathan Davis and Rohan McWilliam

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526106438

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526106438.001.0001

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Race Today cannot fail’: black radicalism in the long 1980s

Race Today cannot fail’: black radicalism in the long 1980s

(p.192) 9Race Today cannot fail’: black radicalism in the long 1980s
Labour and the Left in the 1980s

Robin Bunce

Manchester University Press

The Race Today Collective occupied a unique position on the British left during the 1980s. Inspired by the example of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the thought of radicals such as CLR James and Walter Rodney, and drawing activists from radical organisations such as the Black Panthers and the Black Unity and Freedom Party, the Race Today Collective became the most influential black rights group in Britain in the 1980s. Centred around a magazine, Darcus Howe and the Collective organised some of the most important grassroots campaigns of the decade, bringing black power to housing, industry, policing and the arts. This chapter considers the group’s emergence in the 1970s, the intellectual foundations on which the Collective was built, its distinctive approach to campaigning, its relationship to various ‘white left’ groups, and the different aspects of its work during the 1980s.

Keywords:   Black Radicalism, Black History, Black Power, Radical Politics, Grass Roots Activism, CLR James, Darcus Howe, Squatting, Police Brutality, Black Culture

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