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Black 1919Riots, Racism and Resistance in Imperial Britain$
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Jacqueline Jenkinson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781846312007

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846315138

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(p.1) Introduction
Black 1919
Liverpool University Press

This chapter investigates various themes that lay behind the port riots. These are the broader economic and social context of the riots, contested understandings of national identity and ‘Britishness’, the vagaries of life in Britain's seaports, theories of crowd behaviour, and an evaluation of the effects of racist thought within sections of British society. General demonstrations of post-war resentment across many sections of British society were in the large seaports specifically focused on job and housing shortages. The cultural dimension of shared identities and common experiences among black people in the ‘black Atlantic’ world contributed to the debate on identity and the inter-connectedness of colonial and metropolitan experience. The riots in 1919 erupted in poverty-stricken port communities and were frequently presented by poorly unionised workers. Finally, an overview of the chapters included in the book is given.

Keywords:   port riots, national identity, Britishness, Britain's seaports, racist thought, job shortages, housing shortages, 1919

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