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Africa in EuropeStudies in Transnational Practice in the Long Twentieth Century$
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Eve Rosenhaft and Robbie Aitken

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318474

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846318474.001.0001

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‘In this Metropolis of the World We Must Have a Building Worthy of Our Great People’: Race, Empire and Hospitality in Imperial London, 1931–1948

‘In this Metropolis of the World We Must Have a Building Worthy of Our Great People’: Race, Empire and Hospitality in Imperial London, 1931–1948

Chapter:
(p.76) Chapter 5 ‘In this Metropolis of the World We Must Have a Building Worthy of Our Great People’: Race, Empire and Hospitality in Imperial London, 1931–1948
Source:
Africa in Europe
Author(s):

Daniel Whittall

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781846318474.003.0005

This chapter explores the efforts of the League of Coloured Peoples, an organisation founded by African and Caribbean activists, to establish hospitable spaces in which colonial subjects could escape the racism of British society. It discusses three initiatives launched by the LCP in their efforts to challenge the colour bar in London during the 1930s and 1940s: a joint project with the Colonial Office to open a hostel in London for students of African descent, known as Aggrey House; the League’s own efforts to establish headquarters for itself; and the proposal for a cultural centre for colonial people in London. Practical answers to a problem of everyday life inherent in the imperial and transnational character of the city and its black inhabitants, these projects both drew on multiple and contending connections among black and white actors and tested the possibilities for solidarity in the field of tension created by the presence of empire in the metropolis.

Keywords:   Britain, hospitality, League of Coloured Peoples, Aggrey House, London, racism, Caribbean, West African Students Union

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