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Title What we should teach young people about racism
Author Shahid Ashrif
Key Concepts Oppression, Anti-oppressive Practice, Racism



Educators need to be clear about their intentions. There is a need to distinguish between teaching specifically about the topic of racism, and an antiracist approach to the whole curriculum and the pedagogies employed.  This article will concern itself with teaching about what racism is, and its major manifestations.

Educators have the responsibility to acquaint themselves thoroughly with the facts and extensive literature on racism, and to examine their own views and values regarding Black people. Attendance at high quality in-service courses on these issues would assist Educators in their task.

It is a common view to see racism as an aberration: an accident resulting from an unnecessary distortion of human social relationships - sometimes historically, sometimes contemporaneously. At other times racism is ‘explained’ in terms of some intercultural misunderstanding.

Combating racism is then seen as simply as a mater of overcoming errors, raising awareness of such errors, and of adopting adequate corrective measures or mechanisms. Such an analysis is fundamentally flawed. It does not square with social or historical facts. Furthermore, it does not take seriously or illuminate the struggles against, and resistance of Black people to racism, nor does it account for the conflicts against antiracism.

This perspective (or ideological position) is considered enlightened and has gained a significant foothold, often going under the guise of multicultural or cultural diversity  approaches. This approach has the following weaknesses:

There is an exclusive emphasis on aspects of culture.  Significantly, it ignores Black people’s economic position vis a vis White people, as well as their differential access to resources and decision making power in society.

It presents racial prejudice (as opposed to racism) as the key issue and ignores or denies the effect of institutional racism.

It generally reflects a White view of Black cultures as homogeneous, static and conflict-free, exotic, and is hence demeaning.  It ignores the dynamic of power relations between Black and White people, historically and in the  present.

While acknowledging the right of people to maintain their cultures, in practice this support is limited to marginal activities which have little bearing upon social policies and programmes.

It ignores the reduced life chances experienced by Black people because of racism.  It, to some extent, implies that a dark skin colour is itself a disability, when in reality it is the system and the perception of many White people (in the system) that is at fault.

The tensions between individualism and community loyalty are present in all communities but may vary in intensity from one ethnic community to another. Teachers might be heard to say that such and such is an individual, without realising that members of oppressed groups are rarely afforded the luxury of being individuals. In encounters between Black and White people, the Black person often loses his/her individuality, and simply becomes someone representative of that group. Some experts maintain that human encounters cannot be purely interpersonal since encounters take account of past and present economic and cultural relationships between such groups. This stance also acknowledges the pervasive and powerful impact of racist ideology in society. To represent any member of an oppressed group as merely an individual is in a sense a denial of that person's experience of oppression. This denial of shared experiences also ensures that patterns of group behaviour will never be deciphered. The notion of culture-conflict ascribed to Black youth, is predicated upon a static view of culture. It fails to differentiate between generational conflict, borrowing from another culture, and genuine culture conflict. White teenagers experience a great deal of conflict with their parents over which values to follow, and sizeable numbers of young White people do run away from the strictures of the home.

The notion of culture conflict is essentially racist because it fails to apply the same criteria to White students, who either run away from home or in other ways contest the values of their parents. The culture conflict model does not permit people to have multiple identities. While at one level it is acknowledged that we all have multiple roles/identities, like mother, teacher, sister, friend, etc., we rarely talk about these multiple identities, when particular identities are dominant and the tensions between them. British society unlike the USA, has greater difficulty in coming to terms with being Black British or British Asian.  It would seem that in USA, one can celebrate being Hispanic-American or African-American, but in Britain, the popular public view (articulated by Enoch Powell) remains that one cannot be English if one is Black. It is interesting that Black people are often expected to choose one from their multiple identities to label themselves.

Teaching Methodology

Those teaching about racism need to work in collaboration with Black educationalists, Black communities and local Racial Equality Councils. This is likely to enhance an understanding the manner in which racism in the neighbourhood manifests itself and how Black communities are attempting to tackle the problem. The local context to the issue of racism may give added weight to the problem in the eyes of students as well as avoid students thinking that racism is problem that occurs in localities other than their own.

During any study of this topic there will be racist comments passed. What are the limitations on debate when offensive and dehumanising remarks are directed at Black students or their communities? Ground rules, or a code of conduct, shared with students at the start of the topic, need to be established before teaching begins. What classroom arrangements will prevail to permit Black students (if any) to express their experiences of racism? Teachers might need to consider the advantages of establishing all Black and all White groups for certain activities (- most probably in the early stages of the course) for the same reason that all women groups have been established with regard to addressing issues of sexism. Such arrangements are also likely to bolster the self-confidence of Black students, and when the two groups do work together, it is more likely that there will be fuller participation by the Black students. (It is important to avoid objectifying Black students.)

Teachers will find it helpful to acquaint themselves with the commonest racist myths,(- and responses to them.) These myths need to be tackled effectively if articulated in the class. Also, young people need to be empowered to tackle such myths when they are voiced by their friends, acquaintances and hostile elements.

In studying the topic of racism, correct and appropriate use of terminology is of importance. Words like Black and White will need to be explained as political  groupings. The evolution of the term ‘race’ (- a pseudoscientific idea) with its original meaning of species, and its subsequent use in terms of nationality (e.g. Scots race) will need to be explored. Black people and their cultural practices are often euphemistically called ethnic when in reality all communities are ethnic, since they share within their group a common history, language and culture. Instead of labelling Black people as ethnic, it might be more profitable for teachers to have the students list the varieties of ethnic groups (including White groups) that live in Britain today. It is essential in any study of this nature to distinguish between prejudice and racism as two distinct and identifiable phenomena. It would be appropriate for students to work towards some definition of racism that take account of its personal, cultural, institutional, state forms and give some indication of the driving force (ideology) behind it.

Any such exercise must also examine the oppression of Jewish and Irish communities, and contrast it with the experience of Black people. There are certain similarities - the Irish experienced colonialism and underdevelopment just as Black people did. However, although there were attempts to racialise the Irish, this was modelled on what had been done to Black people. Historically colour has always had a crucial role in racism, and the visibility of Black people compared to the Irish and Jewish people makes the oppression of Black people distinctive. Are Jewish people a race, an ethnic group or a religious group? Why can't Muslims be called a race? How are we to explain differential treatment of Ethiopian and Middle East Jews compared to European Jews? (This is not to diminish in any way the violence and discrimination Jewish people have faced over many centuries.) The vital point to keep in mind, and to emphasise to students is that race is a social construct which though it has great social significance, has no scientific merit. 

Any study of racism must at some stage address the issue of slavery and indentureship. The latter is rarely studied, but had a very significant impact on people from India and China. The economic exploitation of Black people certainly preceded any clearly defined racist ideology elaborated by the intelligentsia of the day. In dealing with slavery and indentureship, it is vital to address the issue of resistance (without which any such study is not only inaccurate but also incomplete.) The abolition of slavery and indentureship was not down to a few Quakers or other moralists, but crucially depended on Black resistance to such oppression making it increasingly uneconomic. Added to this were the very significant voices of Black people campaigning for abolition.

As one might anticipate a study of colonialism/imperialism by a European nation, particularly Britain, would be essential to any understanding of racism today. (The past gives rise to the present!) It might prove fruitful to make comparisons with Arab imperialism in India and Africa. The unjustified and insupportable reputation of the Arabs as significant slave traders needs to be closely examined, both in the light of historical facts (as opposed to western propaganda, during the European scramble for Africa) and the Islamic strictures regarding slavery. An accurate account of decolonisation would reveal that the majority of the colonies did not win independence until the late fifties/early sixties - if one ignores places like Belize, the Falklands, etc. The British on each occasion were coerced into leaving by civil disobedience and uprisings, which the British attempted to contain very brutally. Yet despite this, on gaining independence, there was no revenge taken against the former colonial masters.  Exploitation continues into the present era through neocolonialism which currently ensures that the South (Third World) caters for the North’s (West’s) priorities in terms of agricultural and mineral production, at the expense of the real needs of the developing world. In this manner, the underdevelopment so characteristic of European colonialism is perpetuated today through economic exploitation and domination.

Before setting out for teachers, the learning objectives to be stressed in any study of racism, it is important to draw a distinction between prejudice and racism (- two words which are often mistakenly used interchangeably.)

Racism is not the same as prejudice, or even racial prejudice. Essentially, prejudice consists of uninformed attitudes (as opposed to overt actions) which are usually of a negative nature and directed at some national, religious group, etc. 

Racism in contrast consists of an elaborated ideology of superiority, and manifests itself in personal, cultural and institutional forms.  Those who see multiculturalism as the antidote to racism need to consider that such a perspective see racism as an aberration or due to ignorance and misunderstanding. Telling students about other cultures will in itself not eradicate racism. How information on other cultures will be explored requires consideration if the teacher is to avoid reinforcing students’ prejudices and/or racism.

The Essentials in an Understanding of Racism

  • Racism is based upon the pseudoscientific notion that humans can be neatly divided into clearly defined 'races', with the White group implicitly or explicitly taken as superior to all others. This ideology upheld by the church and the intelligentsia of the time, justified slavery and colonial exploitation, and still informs the current behaviour of many White people towards Black people.

  • Racism is not new. For some 400 years Black people have been systematically murdered, enslaved, indentured, colonised and exploited by White people. That experience has left a deep impression on both groups. The history of slavery and indentureship need to be explored. The roots of modern racism are to be found in that history.

  • Racism is not a matter of opinion nor is it over-sensitivity on the part of Black people. Racism is documented in government statistics and the work of independent researchers. All students should be made aware of the facts of racism. Racism manifests itself as a structural inequality in society where, in general, Black people receive worse housing, social services, promotion prospects, etc. Racism (like sexism) is economically beneficial to the dominant group - one major reason why real change is resisted.

  • Racism can usefully be categorised for convenience as personal, cultural and institutional. These forms are manifest in Britain although the White public tend to highlight racial attacks and abuse, which are usually blamed on extreme right wing organisations.

  • Racism should not be dismissed as characteristic merely of neo-fascist parties and their supporters, or a few misguided individuals. To depict racists as the embodiment of evil is not only incorrect, but also seriously misleading, because it portrays racism as mostly a moral issue when it is really a matter of economic and structural inequality operating at all levels of society. Racist assumptions, beliefs and actions are just as likely on the part of the local bank manager as the trade union activists (as history and recent research shows.) Racism is most certainly not confined to any particular part of the political spectrum.

  • The racism of trade unions is well documented and needs to be addressed since union representatives frequently negotiated better pay, promotion and working conditions (shift work, etc.) for their White members.  Many strikes were a direct result of Black workers refusing to accept pay differentials for the same work or because Black workers were denied promotion. The Trade Union movement frequently abandoned its Black workers (as happened in the Grunwick strike) despite having proportionately more Black registered members than White. Some White supporters of the Left have trouble coming to terms with such verifiable facts.

  • Since it is a popular myth that Black people came here to steal White people's jobs, the facts concerning Black and White employment need to be presented and analysed. The specific recruitment of Black people by the NHS and various local councils because of the shortfall of labour in post-war Britain needs to be explored. This should address the matter of migration from the former British colonies. The differences in experience of White migrants, while sharing certain commonalities with Black migrants, was fundamentally different as can be seen in the literature. The cause of migration (underdevelopment due to colonialism) needs to be addressed as does the impact of such migration on not only the development of the country of origin but also the receiving country. Links can be made here with the Irish experience, although the experience of successive generations of Irish people is in some aspects different to that of Black people.

  • Racism is reproduced through the family, media and the education system, which not only promote cultural racism through Eurocentric values/perceptions, but also reproduce and confirm the inequalities of society, based upon race (gender and class). Students ought to analyse how the media portrays Black people (and Black women in particular). In addition, students ought to be encouraged to examine the ways in which their own institution perpetuates inequalities. The treatment an individual receives in society and its institutions depends upon an interaction between race, gender and class positions of that individual in society. The relative weighting of these factors will change with time and the nature of the society being studied.

  • It is important that informed Black people's perspectives on racism be accepted since the alternative of the dominant group defining the situation or experiences of the oppressed is problematic. This avoids a reinterpretation by White people of Black people's experiences. White people often label Black people's views as antagonistic because they do not behave in a stereotypical fashion or refuse to accept their allocated role. Black people, like women who assert themselves, are usually accused of being either aggressive or oversensitive. Such labelling needs to be questioned.

  • Racist attitudes are not directly produced by the presence of Black people. This blaming of racism on the victims is still prevalent among some White people. The myth that tight immigration control leads to better 'race relations' has been exploded by events over the last twenty years - not least the street disturbances in 1981/85. Those who would argue that good 'race relations' are linked to tight control of Black immigration, posit the blame for racism on Black people. This in a reductionist argument leads to the notion that by ridding this country of Black people, racism would disappear - which of course is not true since the racist ideology and views predicted upon such an ideology would still be in place. Another pitfall is the commonplace accusation that Black people are racist too (reverse racism). This is often a justification of racist behaviour on the part of White people. Racism requires an ideology of racial superiority and the power structurally and economically to translate this superiority into action. Contrary to popular misconceptions, there is no society in the world where Black people systematically oppress White people in a manner similar to what happens to Black people in European states. It also ought to be added that White people living in/visiting Black countries, by and large receive better treatment than Black people (due to internalised racism)!

  • Current immigration laws are culturally and institutionally racist. They continue to divide families who have the legal right to be united, imprison innocent visitors to Britain, and discriminate specifically against Black people. The detention without trial of suspected illegal immigrants even surpasses the draconian measures used with suspected terrorists. Deportations with no right of appeal in Britain (- appeals are permitted only once the person returns to the country of origin -) are common place.  Divorced Black women who came to Britain to marry their husbands are routinely deported. The issue is not whether immigration controls should be removed, but that the laws be made non racist.  At present such laws set the tone for the treatment of Black people already here and those who have legally gained entry. It is commonplace for Black people to carry passports in case they are stopped by the police. It is important  that students understand the chronology of the basic Immigration Laws passed and their impact. The use of newspaper reports etc. would be helpful in demonstrating how hysteria about immigration was manipulated by politicians and newspaper editors. This can be followed up into more recent decades by examining the reporting of the Tamil refugee situation, and the issue of granting passports to Hong Kong residents.

  • Policing of Black communities has been racist and continues to cause resentment among Black people. This experience may be in marked contrast to that of some White people, even though, even here, certain groups like the miners, Greenham Common women and demonstrators outside Wapping, now see the police in a very different light. There have been several independent researches (e.g. PSI Report 1983) confirming the racism and sexism of the police force. A regular complaint by Black communities is that the police fail to act or accept the racist nature of the complaint when racist attacks are reported. Giving police responsibilities for policing immigration laws that suspect every Black person of being a possible 'illegal immigrant' exacerbates the situation. Police raids on Black people where they work or gather, to check passports, have been well documented and such occurrences have routinely infringed the civil liberties of Black British  citizens.

  • The 'riots' of 1980/81/85 (- called uprisings by many Black people -) were a reaction to policing and racism. Other oppressed groups like White working class youths found certain experiences were shared in common with Black communities. However, so called race riots are not new since they occurred in 1919, 1948 and 1958, and were well documented in the press - except in these instances they consisted of White people attacking Black people! The Thatcher government propaganda denied civil unrest had ever been a feature of Britain's past and blamed the unrest on supposed extremists and criminal elements. Such government views were not only ahistorical, but they echoed the responses of state governors when civil unrest occurred in the US during the late sixties and early seventies.

  • The long presence of Black people in Britain is a factor worth stressing considering that the majority of the public believe that the presence of Black people is a phenomena dating back only to the l950s or later.  Black people first came to this country before the Angles and Saxons, in the guise of soldiers in the Roman army, and of course have had a substantial presence since the days of slavery. The notion that White Britons have been welcoming  to visitors in the past is simply not supportable in fact. The radical change in attitudes to Black people during the first and second wars is worth mentioning and exploring.

  • Finally, the framing of, and implications of the Race Relations Act 1976 on service provision and employment needs to be tackled. Distinctions will need to be made between the legislators' definitions of race (an all White group operating in the early 1960s when racial harmony models were beginning to emerge)  and those currently suggested in the literature. The weaknesses of the legislation in comparison to anti-discrimination legislation in the US would make a worthwhile study. It is important however to realise that positive discrimination is illegal in this country, while it is permissible in the US under the title of affirmative action. This should not be confused with positive action, described in Sections 35, 37 and 38 of the Race Relations Act.

Concluding Remarks

Finally, it is worth repeating that the methodology employed in the classroom requires careful consideration. It is important to stress that moral lecturing at students will often prove counter productive. Investigative techniques will need to be developed. The grouping of students will need to be examined very carefully. It is essential that Black students are not objectified. Issues of White (and often working class) identity ought to be examined. What does it mean to be White? Despite the fact that certain values embedded in White cultures are problematic (- which culture does not have values that need questioning?-)  it is important that students are not guilt tripped. Students can only be responsible for their own actions, but not for those of their predecessors. Guilt often paralyses, and therefore such White students would not be able to play their part in the struggle for justice and equality. White students, in the final analysis must feel good about being White without necessarily subscribing to the racism that has sedimented into White British cultures over the centuries. So called racial harmony cannot be achieved while the roots of that disharmony - racism, remains unchallenged. The struggle for justice and equality is both difficult and long but nevertheless a worthy enterprise.

No teacher ought to embark lightly on teaching about racism. It is not a subject to cover in half measures. When well taught, this topic will be challenging to all concerned, and if taught badly could exacerbate the racist attitudes and behaviour of some White students, and further alienate Black students instead of equipping all students to better understand and challenge racism. Some degree of success can be guaranteed only if there is thorough teacher planning, thoughtfulness and use of appropriate methodologies. Important resources for teachers teaching this topic, are given below. The extensive nature and variety of suggested reading is indicative of the complexity of the issue.

© Shahid Ashrif & Student Youth Work Online 2001 



This term has a very long history of being applied to Asians, Africans, African-Caribbeans, etc.  (The great English writer Thackery used it, because it was widely used by the White population at the time.)  The term has never been purely descriptive, because no one has a pure Black skin tone, anymore that White people being the colour of this white paper.  (The term, White is also a political term!)  The term Black has within the last three or so decades been transformed into a positive term, and is not regarded as derogatory (unless used maliciously by White people against Black people.)

The term coloured is still widely used by the White public (and unpoliticised Black people), indicating not only how much the public lags behind in understanding race issues, but also that, skin tone has always been a significant characteristic in classifying people. (This has its roots in pseudoscientific racism.) The term coloured also has connotations of South Africa, where the term is/was reserved for people of mixed race. It should be noted, the concept of race is a social construct, and not a scientific reality!  Furthermore, Black people are increasingly using the term as a positive assertion of their identity.  Certain groups from the Middle East now living in Britain, are having to consider how they ought to classify themselves.  It is clear they will increasingly classify themselves as Black, since in Britain anyone not considered White, automatically falls into the category of Black.  There is no concept of being half Black or half White, besides which, the racist term half-caste was coined originally in India by the British as a derogatory description.

Black is now widely used in the sociological literature, by many statutory bodies, as well as by a sizeable section of the Black communities. The term as used here, unites all those  people who suffer racism and discrimination upon the basis of skin colour.  As with all words, their meaning can change with time, and the last two or three years has seen an increasing use of the word only for people of African or African-Caribbean background. (It is difficult to ascertain exactly how this newer usage of the word is defined by its adherents.) This trend begun in the South West of England has had a disproportionate impact on the media. Together with institutions like the BBC which not only sets the tone of debate on a variety of issues, but also reflects the values of the establishment, the term is gaining increasing usage, although it is firmly rejected by some politicised minority communities. The newer use of the term Black arose because of the method of government funding for various Black groups, whereby competition for limited resources is encouraged between Asian and African-Caribbeans. Young Black people are increasingly using the term Black British.


This word is usually readily understood, but is nevertheless problematic, because it generally is not used when referring to Chinese people (although China is clearly an Asiatic country!) The term is used in the sociological literature, but in a modified manner - South Asian refers to people from the Indian subcontinent, while South East Asian refers to Thai, Vietnamese, Korean people, etc. The term Asian is widely used within the communities from the Indian subcontinent, who are living in Britain, but the term has no meaning, in identity terms, for people living in the Indian subcontinent. The term was coined originally by the European colonialists in East Africa, in the early part of the 20th century, to distinguish between the indigenous Africans, who were termed Blacks and the indentured labour brought from the Indian subcontinent to work on the railways.  The term is a broad one, and does not distinguish between at times the widely differing cultural practices among the various ethnic groups that it covers. The term is also preferred by the older generation of Asians (instead of the term Black) for several reasons: the term Black is still seen as a derogatory word instead of one that was transformed into a positive term by the civil rights movement in the U.S.A.; the colour consciousness brought to India by the Aryans; and the legacy of racist ideology that ranked Asians below Europeans, but above Africans. The concept of internalised racism, (due to experience of Asian people of colonialism and colonial  education) is crucial to understanding this last point. This term has been modified by the communities it refers to into one that reflects the experience of living (or having been born) in Britain. The preferred term of use is British Asian.


Generally, those sharing the same culture (i.e. language, religion, dress, food, etc.) are considered to belong to the same ethnic group.  Everybody belongs to some ethnic group or other, whether it is Welsh, Scottish or even Yorkshire! The terms used on its own is frequently used by those who are unfamiliar with race issues, and the term has become (inappropriately) a sort euphemism for Black people, in much the same way that the term coloured was, and still is used, instead of more derogatory terms. It is incorrect to use the term to refer only to Black communities. The term ethnic minority is technically correct, and widely used in the literature, and by statutory bodies. However, since this term equally applies to Poles, Italians, Greeks, etc., quite a few Black people when they talk in terms of minorities have transformed the term to minority ethnic groups (as opposed to ethnic minority.)

When referring to ethnic groups, which are essentially cultural groups, it is important to keep in mind that members of a cultural group are not homogeneous, and that cultures are dynamic - they borrow from other cultures and change. Yet despite this, particularly under the Conservative administrations (of the 1980s and 1990s), the Right has come to use the term culture to denote race.  When an Indian is racially attacked or abused it is clearly not because of his/her culture, but because of the concept of race, and racial superiority. (Note, the Right wing viewpoint does not explain why any Asian person is likely to be called a 'Paki' even when the ethnicity of the victim is actually known! Thoroughly westernised Asians also receive similar treatment at the hands of racists!)  While European cultures are regarded as dynamic, Black peoples' cultures are usually not afforded the same understanding. The talk of culture conflict with reference to Asian youth, is not only a racist notion, it also pathologises generational conflict which is characteristic of all human societies.


Each of the above is the basis of a major form of oppression, but these three factors interact with each other. The simplistic notion that all men are automatically oppressors of all women, does not take account of the race or social class of the men involved e.g. a Black working class man could be considered to be doubly oppressed by a middle class White woman! The feminist movement until recently has resisted taking on board issues relating to Black women - indeed much of the early feminist literature of the 60's and 70's is distinctly White, middle class, and racist. Obviously, there is some sort of algebraic sum of race, gender and class factors operating and this algebraic sum is dynamic, changing with time and the society being examined.  In the USA class has less of a bearing, as does race (in certain situations), than in British society. In British society, experience shows that of the three factors as they relate to Black people, race is the overriding factor, (regardless of one's social class or gender) -  this is borne out historically as well as in present times.

It is important to note that Black women suffer the double oppressions of racism and sexism, without even considering their social class. Furthermore, it is important to note that Black women's experience of racism, both historically as well as during modern times, is not the same as that of Black men. Black women, during slavery, indentureship and colonialism suffered sexual exploitation in addition to racism.

Social class is not an easy factor to define, but is used here as a socio-economic descriptor. The term class is widely used, even among well educated people, as though it were an immutable factor. So it is commonplace to hear teachers (holding down a middle class job, living middle class lifestyles,) referring to themselves as working class, because their parents were working class. Of the three major factors discussed in this section, social class is the odd one out - the others are essential immutable, while one's social class can change. (This does not imply that some of the values of working class cultures will not be retained by people moving from one social class position to another.)

Race, is a difficult notion to explain and integrate into an analysis for many White people on the Left. The Left generally, either ignores or attempts to hide the fact, that from the times of the Chartist Movement, to modern times, working class Whites have treated badly Black people involved in the same class struggle. There is well documented evidence of racism from the Left. There is the belief (on the Left) that once the class war is won, the other two major oppressions, racism and sexism, will disappear, since class oppression subsumes race and gender oppression. Not only is this analysis simplistic, it also gives rise to an unhelpful hierarchy of oppressions. A working class Black woman being abused by a middle class White male, cannot be told that she must wait until class notions are eliminated before society can address the racism and sexism she is experiencing.

The dynamics of race, gender and class are complex but have been elucidated by the works of (Black) political analysts like Hall, Sivanandan, Mullard, James, Mukerjee, Parmer, etc. Although most worthwhile analyses of race emanate from the Left, these writers do not subscribe to a traditional Marxist analysis that entirely subsumes race into class and ignores Black resistance to racism. (Note, a Marxist analysis does not necessarily imply one is a Marxist!) Race is seen by the analysts above, as a key constituent of the reproduction of class relations because it is one of the factors which provides the material and social base upon which racism as an ideology flourishes. Race is the main modality through which the Black members of that class, live, experience, make sense of and thus come to a consciousness of their structured subordination. Because conventional class analyses fail to account for the relative position of Black and White working class people, the term the Black Underclass is sometimes used to distinguish Black from White working class groups.

References & Recommended Reading

Al-Hassan, A.Y. Islamic Technology; Cambridge Univ. Press 1992

Asian Times History & Cultural Heritage of East Indians in Guyana; Asian Times 15-8-86

Indian Migration into British Guiana - a brief survey; Asian Times 19-9-86

Banton M. Racial Theories; Cambridge Univ. Press

Bazin, M. Tales of Underdevelopment; in Race & Class, 28 (3),1987 Institute for Race Relations

Brah A. & Minhas  R. Structural Racism or Cultural Differences : schooling for Asian girls. In Just A Bunch of Girls; ed. Weiner G., Ch 2. Buckingham; OU Press 1985

Brandt G.L. The realisation of antiracist teaching; Basingstoke; Falmour Press 1986

Ballhatchet K. Race, Sex and Class under the Raj; Weidenfield 1980

Carby H.V. White Women Listen! Black Feminism and the Boundaries of Sisterhood. In The Empire Strikes back; Ch. 6. London: Hutchinson; Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, 1982

Campbell H. Rasta & Resistance: from Marcus Garvey to Walter Rodney; Hansib Publications 1985

CCCS* The Empire Strikes Back ; Hutchinson 1982                      

Chaudhuri N.K                Trade and Civilisation in the Indian Ocean: an economic history from the rise of Islam to 1750; Cambridge Univ. Press 1985

CRE Immigration Control procedures; CRE 1985

Dabydeen D. India in the Caribbean; Hansib Publications 1987

Davis D.B. Slavery and Human Progress; Oxford Univ. 1984

Davis  A. Women, Race And Class ; Women's Press 1981

Fryer P. Staying Power: history of Black people in Britain ; Pluto Press 1984

Gill D.& Levidow, L. Antiracist science teaching ; London: Free Association Books 1987

Gilroy  P. There Ain't No Black In The Union Jack ; Hutchinson 1987

Gordon P. White Law ; Pluto 1983

Policing Immigration: Britain's internal controls; Pluto 1985

Gordon P& Rosenberg D., Daily Racism : the press and Black people in Britain ; Runnymede Trust 1989

Hall S. et al. Policing The Crisis; MacMillan Press 1978

Hooks  B. Ain't I A Woman ; Pluto Press 1982

Howe D. New Perspectives on the Asian Struggles: Race Today Aug./Sept. Nov/Dec. 1979

Race Today; Jan. 1986 issue (civil disturbances of 1985)

IRR** Patterns of Racism; IRR 1982

Roots of Racism; IRR 1982

How Racism Came To Britain; IRR 1986

Policing Against Black  People;  IRR 1987

Un-greening the Third World: food, ecology and power; Race and Class, Vol. 30 (3); (1989)

James C.L.R. The Black Jacobins; Alison & Busby 1980

Leech K. Struggle In Babylon: racism in cities and churches of Britain ; Sheldon Press 1988

Lee G. & Loveridge The Manufacture Of Disadvantage ;  OU 1987

Liverpool Black Caucus The Racial Politics of Militant in Liverpool; Runnymede Trust 1986          

Mazrui A..A. The Africans: a triple heritage; BBC  Publications 1986

Race Today From Bobby to Babylon; Race Today May/June & Nov.1980

Race Today ; Jan. 1986 issue

Ramdin R. The Making Of The Black Working Class; Gower 1987

Rodney W. How Europe underdeveloped Africa; Bogle L'Ouverture 1972

Said E. W. Covering Islam ; Routledge & Kegan 1981

Salwi, D.M. Scientists of India; New Delhi : CBT 1986

Seabrook, J. Biotechnology and genetic diversity; Race and Class, 34 (3), 1993; Institute of Race Relations

Sivanandan A.   From Resistance To rebellion: Asian and Afro-Caribbean Struggles in Britain; Race & Class Vol.23, No.2/3, 1981;Institute of Race Relations

Smith S. J. The Politics of 'Race' and Residence; Polity Press 1989

Solomos J. Race and Racism in Contemporary Britain; MacMillan Press 1989

Visram R. Ayahs, Lascars and princes: Indians in Britain 1700- 1945; Pluto Press 1986

Walvin J. Passage to Britain; Pelican 1984

Zinn H. A People’s History of the United States From 1492 to the Present; Longman 1996 (2nd Edition)

* Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (Birmingham)

** Institute of Race Relations

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