Professor Nicole Aljoe at The Centre for Black Humanities

Despite the on-going COVID pandemic, my sojourn at the Centre for Black Humanities in Bristol during the fall term of 2021 was an incredibly productive and intellectually engaging experience.  I conducted research in the Bristol archives on two related projects. The first was the creation of a digital map of the various locations associated with Black people in 18th century London through the lens of Ignatius Sancho. Sancho and his employer, the Duke of Montague were in Bath in 1768 and I was curious about representations of Black people in Bristol. In addition to finding out information about Pero and Frances Coker, who both worked for the Pinney family in Bristol, I also found in the Bristol Archive, two relatively unknown letters written by Black men living in Bristol during the early 19th-century. Such data productively challenges notions of absence of Black people in the archives of Britain at this time and provides more details about the complexities of their lives. Thought to have been primarily victimized and enslaved, my research in the Bristol and Bath archives in the fall highlights instead the diversity of experiences of Black people in the UK in the late 18th and early 19th-centuries.

The second project was my book manuscript on representations of women of color from the Caribbean in fictional European texts between 1790-1830 and the research at Bristol was also intended to explore and reconsider the social context of one of the texts from that project, The Woman of Colour. Published in 1808, it is an epistolary novel about a mixed-race Jamaican heiress who travels to England to marry her White cousin according to a stipulation in her father’s will. However, after an ominous wedding ceremony, it turns out the cousin was already married but had thought his wife was dead. After the scandal of the recovery of the ‘first’ wife, Olivia declares herself a widow then returns to Jamaica—along with her money—to serve the enslaved.

The novel, which received three positive reviews in the press, includes insightful critiques of English society and its racist attitudes. The novel takes place primarily in Bristol and its environs. Olivia’s ship from Jamaica arrives in Bristol Harbor, and after she lands, she spends her first night at the Bush Tavern, downtown on Corn Street. She then moves to stay with relatives on Gloucestor Row in Clifton. And after her marriage, she moves with her husband Augustus to an estate called New Park, in Devonshire which is described as reminding her maid, Dido, of their former estate in Jamaica. Then after the traumatic revelations about her husband’s first marriage, Olivia flees Devonshire and finds solace in a cozy cottage in Monmouthshire.

Scholars speculate that the author of the novel might have been either Ann or Rebecca Wright. Mixed-race heiresses from Jamaica, whose white plantation owner father included a stipulation about his daughter’s eventual marriages in his will, as Olivia’s father had done in the novel. I thought I had found evidence of Rebecca Wright in Somerset, but that avenue turned out to be a dead end. I think it’s more likely that the author of the novel might have been someone who knew or knew of Ann or Rebecca because most of the evidence about the two sisters does not place them in Bristol, but rather in Southwestern London—in Streatham and Mitcham—where their father was from, and where each eventually lived after marrying Black British-Jamaican men.   But the existence of Ann and Rebecca, like the two letters by Black men in Bristol, complicates notions of the supposed isolation of Black people in the UK before the Victorian era.

Professor Nicole Aljoe is Professor of English and Africana Studies at Northeastern University. Professor Aljoe’s research focuses on 18th and early 19th Century Black Atlantic and Caribbean literature with a specialization on the slave narrative and early novels. In addition to teaching in these areas, she has published articles on these topics in American Literary History, The Journal of Early American Literature, and African American Review. In her monograph Creole Testimonies: Slave Narratives from the British West Indies, 1709-1836 (Palgrave 2012) and in the co-edited collections Journeys of the Slave Narrative in the Early Americas (UVA Press, 11/2014) and, most recently, A Literary History of the Early Anglophone Caribbean: Islands in the Stream (Palgrave/Springer, April 2018), she explores the myriad ways in which subaltern voices appear in the archives.

The Centre for Black Humanities: Who we are and future directions by Dr Saima Nasar and Professor Madhu Krishnan

The Centre for Black Humanities is an international hub for Black Humanities research in the heart of Bristol. The Centre aims to foster the broad range of research currently being done at the University of Bristol around the artistic and intellectual work of people of African descent. Some of our current interdisciplinary projects include Dr Josie Gill’s research on ‘Black Health and the Humanities’, Dr Elizabeth Robles’ work on Black British Art, and Dr Justin William’s project on UK Hip-Hop. Other research projects include those relating to ethics and social justice, literary activism, and slavery and its legacies.

The Centre is committed to reaching audiences outside the traditional university through a diverse programme of film screenings, reading groups, performances, and research collaborations with local communities. Such activities enable our research to generate impact in other areas including the cultural industries and higher education policy.

Our main priorities as a Centre are: collaboration, interdisciplinarity, engagement, exchange, and internationalism. The Centre works with academics, artists and practitioners – nationally and internationally –  to produce world-leading research in Black Humanities. We work across disciplines in the Arts and Humanities but also beyond, with researchers in the Sciences and Social Sciences. Centre members also facilitate a wide range of public engagement activities based on our research in local, national and international settings, working with museums, charities and other organisations to deliver high-quality, non-academic outputs.

Additionally, we have active research partnerships with local writers, artists and grassroots organisations in Bristol. These help create high-profile opportunities for mutual exchange and collaboration on issues of local and national importance. We also have academic and creative partners in Uganda, Ghana, Senegal, Angola, Portugal, Brazil, and the US, amongst others. A list of our international board members can be found on our website.

The Centre has had a series of visiting scholars join us. In 2021, we were delighted to host Professor Nicola Aljoe. Professor Aljoe’s research is on Black Atlantic and Caribbean literature with a specialisation on the slave narrative and early novels. She described her time in Bristol:

‘Despite the ongoing COVID pandemic, my sojourn at the Centre for Black Humanities in Bristol during the fall term of 2021 was an incredibly productive and intellectually engaging experience. I conducted research in the Bristol archives on two related projects. The first was the creation of a digital map of the various locations associated with Black people in 18th – century London through the lens of Ignatius Sancho. The second project was my book manuscript on representations of women of colour from the Caribbean in fictional European texts between 1790 and 1830. Such data productively challenges notions of absence of Black people in the archives of Britain at this time, and provides more details about the complexities of their lives.’

The Centre offers exciting opportunities for our early career and postgraduate community, through cutting-edge research and dialogue with arts and community activists. This year, Adriel Miles, Alice Kinghorn and Francis Asante are coordinating a programme of events. Francis explained:

‘The Centre plans to organise a number of postgraduate research (PGR) seminars and reading groups. Two seminars are planned for the first teaching block on topics related to the exploration of racial communities in online spaces, and the relationship between race, music, and cultural politics. These events are designed to encourage a sense of community in the Centre, and to provide a space for learning and socialising. Preparations for the seminars are still ongoing, and further information about them will be shared soon.’

Centre co-directors: Dr Saima Nasar and Professor Madhu Krishnan

Remembering Enslavement on August 23rd by Dr Jessica Moody

August 23rd has been designated by UNESCO as the ‘International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.’ [1]. This specific day was chosen because of its connection to the Haitian Revolution, the largest and most successful uprising of enslaved people as it was during the night of the 22nd to the 23rdAugust in 1791 that the revolution began. The selection of this date is purposeful. It foregrounds a narrative of African resistance, power and the agency of enslaved people within memory work and 

memorialisation, and emphasizes the significance of the Haitian Revolution in the history of (eventual) abolition and emancipation.

Memory is about the present. It is a mirror which reflects contemporary concerns, events and contexts. The official designation of this date in 1998, as well as a number of others across the year by UNESCO, was part of a range of other memory work which emerged in the 1990s. These were instigated as part of the organisation’s intercultural Slave Route project (now “Routes of Enslaved Peoples: Resistance, Liberty and Heritage”) which began in 1994 and included educational and memorial transnational projects in countries involved in and effected by the history of transatlantic enslavement. Haiti was one of the first places to mark this day, in 1998, and it was also marked in Gorée Island and Senegal in 1999. In Britain, this date was first marked in Liverpool, the largest of the European ports involved in the trade, in 1999, the year Liverpool council also issued an official apology for the city’s role in the trade in enslaved African people, and has been marked there every year since. Liverpool’s ‘Slavery Remembrance Day’ [2] includes a public lecture the night before, a Walk of Remembrance (instigated in 2011) and a Libation Ceremony [3] led by African elders in the city.

August 23rd hasn’t so far featured particularly prominently in Bristol’s public memory work around enslavement. However, this year, a mass participation memorial dance is planned for 6pm Tuesday 23rd August on College Green. The dance has been developed through the Decolonising Memory: Digital Bodies in Movement project led by Cleo Lake, Kwesi Johnson and myself. This new memorial folk dance for Bristol memorializes enslavement whilst celebrating and foregrounding Afrikan heritage and culture. It was developed through a series of open workshops between November 2021 and May 2022 whereby dance and movement was drawn upon as both a key method of research into the meanings of the history, memory and legacy of enslavement in Bristol and also as a way to counter, challenge and create new, healing and positive responses. Days of remembrance can be useful mnemonic devices because of their calendrical nature; they recur and repeat, and invite performances of memory on those days in ways which do not need to stay as static as statues, or fit particular cultural norms. A memorial dance is a suitable way to mark such a day, especially one which seeks to centre Afrikan culture(s), narratives, and people in its memorialisation given the centrality of dance within African and Caribbean cultures.

There are two upcoming workshops where you can learn the dance, each an hour long, which are free and open to all, being held between 11am and 1pm on the day of the 23rd which you can sign up to here: DANCE WORKSHOP: Decolonising Memory – digital bodies in movement Tickets, Tue 23 Aug 2022 at 11:00 | Eventbrite

You can view the first public performance of the dance at the Bristol Harbour Festival July 2022 here:

For more information about the project including updates on the forthcoming accompanying augmented reality app, see our website: and follow us on Instagram @decolonisingmemory_bristol

Join us at College Green, 6pm on Tuesday 23rd August 2022!

Notes and References



[3] A Libation Ceremony is a traditional African ceremony which honours the ancestors


Dr Jessica Moody  
University of Bristol

Jessica is Senior Lecturer in Public History. Her research considers collective memory, public history, and heritage, especially in relation to difficult and dissonant pasts, histories of enslavement, empire and colonialism, as well as creative forms of memorialisation and counter-memorialisation and the co-production of memory work. Her first monograph, The Persistence of Memory: Remembering slavery in Liverpool, ‘slaving capital of the world’,  analyses how transatlantic slavery has been ‘remembered’ in Liverpool, the largest slave-trading port city in Europe (out now with Liverpool University Press, in hardback, paperback and open access She is Co-I on the UKRI funded Citizen Science Project ‘Citizens Researching Together: Reparative Justice through Collaborative Research’ and leads the strand ‘Decolonising Memory: digital bodies in movement’ with Cleo Lake and Kwesi Johnson

Bass Culture and the Black Humanities: An Introduction by Ivan Mouraviev

In a reggae dance hall session, the vibrations of bass are not only heard but felt. The speakers tingle your skin, clothes, and bones. Bass is everywhere, its low-frequency waves flowing through and around the crowd. Some dancers swim with the rhythms, some let the currents wash over. The DJ and selector curate these sounds while reading dancers’ movements, journeying into unexplored

musical territory or wheeling up the best sounds to play them again. This reciprocal performance synthesises vibe from vibration, for hours, deep into the night.

As cultural scholar and filmmaker Julian Henriques argues, such sensations and processes can be understood together as ‘sonic dominance’ and ‘knowing through sound’.1 This is reggae as a ‘bass/base’ culture, built from the ground up in the street culture of 1970s Jamaica. For Henriques, reggae dance halls epitomise an alternative sonic epistemology: sound disrupts the colonial primacy of text, rationality, vision, and racism in favour of a flattened hierarchy of the senses that is instead noisy, unpredictable, ‘vulgar’, and sexual. The sound system pushes air in ways that can be pleasurable and painful, its technologies capable of being abused if the selector pursues a vibe their dance hall is not in tune with. As Paul Gilroy puts it, Black music facilitates a complex ‘encounter with utopia; with another way of being and thinking and loving and desiring, and experiencing things.’2

This constellation of ideas is increasingly the domain of an interdisciplinary field that I call ‘bass culture studies’, the focus of my current doctoral research in musicology. This space is far from a united discipline, but a few streams of research are discernible. The first centres on the ongoing importance of reggae to popular music, globally and in the United Kingdom in particular, building on historical and ethnographic work by authors including Lloyd Bradley and Michael Veal. For example, a recent essay collection explores case studies of British dub poetry and Nzinga Sounds, one of the United Kingdom’s longest running sound systems led by women.3 Here, reggae is historicised as a bass culture with an ‘Africentric consciousness’, the story of which remains ‘not adequately documented in books or on the university curriculum’.

A second stream tends towards popular music studies by taking a broad genealogical view of reggae as a genre. After reggae and its experimental offshoot known as dub took the world by storm in the late twentieth century, bass culture expanded into a network of subcultures with a fixation on low-frequency sound and the alternative modes of being it engenders. From hip-hop to jungle, this is the ‘dub diaspora’ of contemporary electronic (dance) music, a network with many roots in—and routes out of—the Black Atlantic.4 Dub’s logic of stripping a song to its essential elements of drums and bass and embellishing them can be heard everywhere, such as in the use of simple echo and reverberation effects in chart music, the remix culture built deeply into electronic dance music, or even hip-hop’s tradition of vocal ‘toasting’ over looped drum breaks and bass lines.

In a third stream of research, scholars take Henriques’s lead by focusing on the conceptual weight of bass culture. What are the epistemological implications of ‘knowing through sound’? How can the intensity of a sound system feel both dominant and intimate at once? What does the ‘vibrational ontology’ of dub-reggae teach us about Afrofuturism or Rastafari? Is there a currently unexplored emancipatory potential in bass music, owing to the exclusion of women and marginalised peoples by male-dominated sound systems and dance halls? Some answers to these questions are already being considered in an emerging subfield referred to as ‘black sound studies’.5

In my research, I focus on DJs. I consider how strategies of performance in contemporary scenes—including Bristol, Outlook Festival, and online spaces—relate to local interpretations of Afro-diasporic bass culture and what (or who) counts as belonging to ‘bass music’. DJs are arguably the heart of most bass cultures today, with there being much to learn by listening to their ideas and performances. The specificity and power of bass demands a musicology of bass culture, which my work aims to develop.

  1. Julian Henriques, Sonic Bodies: Reggae Sound Systems, Performance Techniques and Ways of Knowing(London, New York: Continuum, 2011).
  2. Bass Culture UK, ‘Bass Culture: Paul Gilroy (part two)’, interview with Jacqueline Springer (published July 2020), 40’03”–47’11”.
  3. William ‘Lez’ Henry & Matthew Worley, Narratives from Beyond the UK Reggae Bassline: The System is Sound (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021).
  4. Paul Sullivan, Remixology: Tracing the Dub Diaspora (London: Reaktion Books, 2014).
  5. Tavia Nyong’o, ‘Afro-philo-sonic Fictions: Black Sound Studies after the Millennium’, Small Axe 18, no. 2 (2014), 173–179.

Ivan Mouraviev 
University of Bristol

Ivan Mouraviev is a third-year PhD student investigating contemporary DJ culture and performance in bass music, supervised by Dr Justin Williams and Dr Florian Scheding. Ivan has published book reviews in Popular Music and Sound Studies and presented research at international conferences on topics including DJ performance analysis, sonic materialism, and bass music festivals. Broader research interests include video game music and music & the internet.

Lourenço da Silva Mendonça and the Black Atlantic Abolitionist Movement in the 17th Century by Dr José Lingna Nafafé

In the Anglophone historiography, debate on enslaved people’s experience and the abolition of Atlantic World slavery has been largely dominated by US historians whose work is often geographically focused on the US, the Caribbean and Anglophone Africa and temporally limited to the 18th and 19th centuries. Much less attention has been paid to Lusophone Africa, Brazil, Portugal, Spain and the Vatican, which leaves a huge gap in knowledge on slavery and abolition. In particular, the almost exclusive focus on 18th and 19th century Euro-American debates on abolition overlooks the earlier debate that took place in the Luso-Hispanic Atlantic in the 17th century. In this monograph, Lourenço da Silva Mendonça and the Black Atlantic Abolitionist Movement in the 17th Century, I bring Lusophone Africa, Brazil (Americas), Portugal, Spain and the Vatican into the discussion. I focus in particular on the court case that Lourenço da Silva Mendonça, an Angolan prince, took to the Vatican in the seventeenth century to argue for the abolition of Atlantic slave trade.


The monograph is a ground-breaking historiography on the Atlantic slave trade contributing to scholarship by enhancing knowledge and understanding of the practice of the institution of slavery. It is based on rare and original data never used by African, Africanist and Atlanticist historians. This in-depth study is carried out in more than thirty archives and libraries in six countries, providing substantial new evidence of the transnational and highly organised African abolitionist movement in a crucial period in global history.

Legal, moral, ethical and political debate on the abolition of slavery has always been understood to have been initiated by Europeans in the eighteenth century. Africans’ involvement on abolition of slavery is often confined to sporadic cases, namely those of ‘shipboard revolts’, ‘maroon communities’, and ‘household revolts’, etc. Notwithstanding, none of these studies have examined the international-scale legal liberation headed by Mendonça in the Vatican, 6 March 1684. His court case on the abolition of slavery not only included Black Africans, but also other constituencies such as New Christians and the Native Americans. I argue that there is a nexus of dialogues that have not been considered together in the context of the Atlantic in the relationship between those Africans seeking abolition, the New Christians and Indigenous people of America, their common search for liberty, and how the denial of religious freedom was connected with the denial of enslaved Africans’ humanity. I also argue that by allying himself with these different constituencies in the Atlantic, Mendonça transcended the African frontier with his message of freedom and abolition.  His claim for liberty was universal, as it went beyond enslaved Africans’ predicament to include other oppressed groups in Africa, Brazil, Caribbean, Portugal, and Spain.

Mendonça in his legal case questioned the institution of the Atlantic slavery, using four core principles to bolster his argument: Human, Natural, Divine, and Civil Laws. The book reveals, for the first time, how legal debates were headed not by Europeans, but by Africans. It also demystifies the common knowledge and accepted wisdom on African slavery, revealing the uncomfortable truth that the conquered kingdoms in Africa by the Europeans were coerced into practicing slavery. Any conquered king or ruler was obliged to pay 100 enslaved persons in tax per year. A tax system known in the Lusophone Africa as baculamento. Accordingly, the monographs proves the exceptionally complex African liberation struggle from the European colonial powers, and its inhumane denial by the political and Christian hierarchies.

The monograph will be published by August 2022 with CUP.


Dr José Lingna Nafafé
University of Bristol

The Poetics and Politics of Rap Music in the UK by Dr Justin Williams

The past decade in the UK has been rife with political discourse in all its forms: the spectre of Brexit has dominated over half this time, and now a post-Brexit landscape needs to deal with issues around the Irish Border, the increasing call for Scottish independence, and the role of government in handling the novel coronavirus pandemic. With Harry and Megan leaving their royal duties, even the monarchy is increasingly under scrutiny. Debates around the history of the British Empire and its role in profiting from the slave trade has also been in recent news, with Edward Colston’s statue falling in my hometown of Bristol in June 2020. The Black Lives Matter movement have prompted discussion on identity, discrimination, anti-racism, inclusion, and representation in society for Black British and other minority ethnic groups.


From all this, one can conclude that the Kingdom is far from united. While media outlets such as the BBC and newspapers tell a particular story of the situation, I have found that there is a missing voice in these discourses which shed an important light on these contexts.

The British rapper, or MC, I argue is just an important if not more important voice speaking out and talking back to more mainstream political narratives. Sometimes it’s done with humour, in the case of Brexit parodies like “F**k Brexit” and “Auf Wiedersehen Mate,” or with urgency such as in Akala’s “Maangamizi” (on the African Holocaust). Some of these MCs have received less attention than their stylistic cousins working with grime and drill music, but nevertheless have important things to say on nationalism, history, and belonging.

With regards to Scotland, their 2014 referendum for independence was accompanied by a flowering of creativity, and hip-hop was no exception. Songs from Stanley Odd like “Marriage Counselling” and “Son I Voted Yes” were important in the soundtrack to the “Yes Scotland” campaign (which eventually lost 45% to 55%).

Listening to a song like Dave’s “Question Time” from 2017 at the start of Theresa May’s government really sums up concerns with adequate care and wages for what we now call “key workers” in our society. He raps,

“All my life I know my mum’s been working
In and out of nursing, struggling, hurting
I just find it f**ked that the government is struggling
To care for a person that cares for a person.”

As ever, rap at its most politically conscious becomes a mouthpiece for the voiceless, the marginal, those who contribute most productively in society but are rarely heard. Chuck D famously said that rap was “CNN for Black people,” and many of the rappers in the UK (e.g. Lowkey, Shay D, Akala, Stanley Odd, Reveal) extend this point more globally. Songs about Grenfell Tower (such as “Ghosts of Grenfell”) are concerned with the tragedy itself, as well as the tower as metaphor for the wider failings of the British government and its adherence to neoliberal principles.

And what about songs about coronavirus? Yes, they exist too. Lady Leshurr who has a popular series of viral videos under the “Queen’s Speech” banner, released “Quarantine Speech” in April 2020, encouraging people to wash their hands while draping a sparkly union jack flag mask around her neck.

Investigating UK rap in the twenty-first century shows a multifaceted group of voices that reflect the politics of the postcolonial condition of the UK. Whether it’s addressing national or regional issues, global hip-hop and its penchant for talking back to (or even better, rapping back to) dominant discourses can provide a wider framework for performers.

Listen to the Brithop playlist here on YouTube.

Justin A. Williams is Associate Professor in Music at the University of Bristol, UK. He is the author of Rhymin’ and Stealin’: Musical Borrowing in Hip- Hop (2013), editor of The Cambridge Companion to Hip- Hop (2015), and coeditor (with Katherine Williams) of The Cambridge Companion to the Singer- Songwriter (2016) and The Singer- Songwriter Handbook (2017). He has also written on crowdfunding, progressive metal, and Hamilton: An American Musical.

[An earlier version of this blog can be found on the OUP blogs website:

Reprinted with permission.]

Race and Antiracism in Science and the Humanities by Dr Josie Gill

The following is an excerpt from a conversation between Josie Gill and Michell Chresfield published in the LA Review of Books in August 2021. For the full conversation please click here.

How, as humanities scholars, can we approach race and science today, at a moment when certain biological ideas about race seem to be reappearing? There are white supremacist groups discussing (and misinterpreting) genetic studies on internet forums. The New York Times reported that white supremacists were “chugging” milk because they thought a genetic study was saying that white people were better able to digest milk than others. Trump has often talked about his belief in “good genes” — both his own and those of his followers — as a way of signalling the purported superiority of whiteness. So there are seemingly casual but also very prominent ideas about genetics entering public discourse.

In relation to COVID-19, recently the home secretary in the UK, Priti Patel, was trying to explain the different impact [of the disease] on Black and Asian communities in the UK. She implied that they are just somehow more susceptible to COVID-19, that there’s some kind of biological difference. Whether these ideas represent a return, or whether they have been there all along, there is no doubt that we are in a political moment where these discourses are gaining traction and there’s a return to a biological understanding of race.

Approaching this situation as a literary scholar can be quite tricky. There has been an attack on scientific expertise [from the right], and so literary scholars can be under some pressure not to do anything that might undermine science. This is particularly the case for the understanding of race that was confirmed by the Human Genome Project; that race is not biological and has no genetic meaning. That is the established and predominant scientific view. In the main, literary approaches tend to adhere to this view, to support it, and many literary scholars are influenced by critical race scholarship in this regard. Scholars like Kwame Anthony Appiah, Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Paul Gilroy have in different ways brought genetic science into their work to support their own, pre-existing understanding of race; that it is not a genetic reality. You might ask, what’s wrong with that? I’m not disputing the finding of the HGP or saying that it is wrong, but what I find interesting in their usage of science, is that it marks a departure from how these scholars talk about science in the past.

When these scholars discuss the historical construction of race in the 18th and 19th centuries, they acknowledge that it was an interdisciplinary idea — a construct created from many discourses including science, philosophy, and literature. In these analyses, science is understood as a product of its time, and the colonial context in particular. There’s an understanding that science was influenced by everything that was going on politically and socially at the time. However, when you turn to literary analyses of 21st-century science, you can see there’s a tendency to revert to a different stance toward science, treating it as an objective, neutral authority on race, and not as complicated or imbricated in culture as it was historically.

I was interested to see how I could approach contemporary science by maintaining a focus on the political, social, and cultural contexts which have made certain ideas about race possible in 21st century. I’m drawing on the work of STS scholar Jenny Reardon, in doing this, and trying to expand her analysis and include the literary and cultural, to think about how that context enables certain ideas about race to emerge narratively. I’m not trying to undo the scientific finding that race isn’t genetic; I’m not saying “that’s not true”; I just want to understand the conditions that enabled this idea to gain traction. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that that idea came about at the same time as the rise of post-racial discourse at the beginning of this century. It seems strange to think of it now, post-BLM, but with Obama, there really was a widespread belief in the US and UK that we were entering a post-racial period and that racism was no longer an issue, that people of colour had gained a certain level of equality and that we were moving beyond race. The science of race was feeding into that political climate.



Dr Josie Gill
University of Bristol