While there is an extensive sociological literature concerning race relations, racial discrimination and the process of migration, this has tended to focus on snapshots at a given moment in time. There are few historical accounts of the development of black communities in Britain. This book will be the first social history of a black community in modern times which attempts to weave many aspects of life together to give a more comprehensive understanding of the lives of black people in Britain. The book will address the way peoples' lives are constructed through racialized identities and how African Caribbean people in Leicester relate to the wider community. It provides an important contribution to the debate concerning the social class profile of different ethnic groups. The work is gendered throughout and discusses the different nature of the experiences of men and women. The 1991 census shows Leicester to have the highest proportion of ethnic minority residents of any city outside London, however compared to other cities with black and Asian communities, it has received little attention from academics.
The present study charts the development of Leicester's African Caribbean community from its origins in the Second World War to 1981 and its changing construction from 'immigrants' to 'ethnic minority'.