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Race, Archival Silences, and a Black Footballer Between the Wars / Martin Johnes

Twentieth Century British History, Volume: 31, Issue: 4, Pages: 530 - 554

Swansea University Author: Martin Johnes

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DOI (Published version): 10.1093/tcbh/hwaa023

Abstract

The relative absence of colour in archival sources has led the British historiography of race to concentrate too much on the reactions of white Britons and not enough on black experiences. With some notable exceptions, this has created an analytical emphasis on racism and discrimination rather than...

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Published in: Twentieth Century British History
ISSN: 0955-2359 1477-4674
Published: Oxford University Press (OUP) 2020
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa54325
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Abstract: The relative absence of colour in archival sources has led the British historiography of race to concentrate too much on the reactions of white Britons and not enough on black experiences. With some notable exceptions, this has created an analytical emphasis on racism and discrimination rather than the agency of black men and women to resist prejudices and live meaningful lives. This article explores the life of Welsh footballer Eddie Parris in order to investigate the working-class black experience in interwar Britain. It acts as a reminder of the importance of thinking of people of colour in early twentieth-century Britain as individuals rather than just as a racialized category. Nonetheless, notions of racial difference were so pervasive that race was never irrelevant for their lives. The task for the historian is acknowledge and investigate the impact of these ideas without letting them push aside the actual people within them.
College: College of Arts and Humanities
Issue: 4
Start Page: 530
End Page: 554