This article uses autobiographical material to explore how 'race' has operated as structuring principle in Britain since the end of the Second World War. It stages an encounter between lived experience (as revealed through memory) and psychoanalytic and sociological texts. The article attempts to show how 'life' is both captured by these traditions of thought and how it exceeds them. The focus is on the material and emotional registers of intersubjectivity across the divisions of black and white. The article is punctuated by brief moments of musical interruption which illustrate the pervasive presence of gendered, raced and sexed in artefacts of popular culture
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