Monday, July 24, 2017

London has always been multicultural

A record number of ethnic minorities are now Members of Parliament after the recent snap election in the UK. Is this belated recognition of Britain’s centuries of multiculturalism? After all, globalism and multiculturalism are just newish words for ancient things. As a long-time port city of international capital, the “polyethnic metropolis” is old hat, as Sukhdev Sandhu writes in his invocation of “black Britain.”

The conventional history of people of Caribbean, African, and South Asian origin coming to the UK only after World War II isn’t even half the story. Sandhu begins in Trafalgar Square, where the statue to Admiral Nelson includes a bronze relief that portrays one of the two Africans serving on the HMS Victory. 

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