Anti-racist cultural politics in post-imperial Britain: the New Beacon Circle

Alleyne, Brian. 2007. Anti-racist cultural politics in post-imperial Britain: the New Beacon Circle. In: , ed. Utopian Pedagogy: Radical Experiments Against Neoliberal Globalization. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pp. 207-226. ISBN 9780802086754 [Book Section]

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This chapter explores the activist-pedagogy of one group that sought to negotiate an inclusive place in Britain for the descendants of Black and Brown migrants: New Beacon Circle, based in North London, England. Whereas many contributors to this book have addressed contemporary alternative educational initiatives, I consider one that started in the mid-1960s and is still active today. In this way, I emphasize the continuity in radical experimentation in utopian pedagogy. In the case of New Beacon Circle, such experimentation has been a component of contestant responses to specific situations of class and 'race' domination, and which have been, simultaneously, attempts to build progressive educational alternatives that might endure into the future. Bringing a particular reading of anti-colonialism in the British West Indies to their activist work in London, the New Beacon Circle is centred around the New Beacon publishing house and bookshop, which was established in 1966. Over the next four decades, New Beacon Circle’s activities encompassed and wove together Black cultural production, anti-racist organizing and community education. This chapter explores a number of initiatives of the New Beacon Circle and concludes by analyzing them through the lens of cultural politics.

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study and teaching social justice racism UK cultural politics activism

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March 2007Published

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01 Dec 2010 11:40

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29 Apr 2020 15:29


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