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Revolution and Bloodshed: Representations of African Caribbeans in the Leeds press 1968-1989

By Lisa Long


This research analyses the representation of African Caribbean communities in the mainstream Leeds press, the Yorkshire Post and the Yorkshire Evening Post, throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. The analysis focuses on coverage of selected events in each decade which were particularly relevant to the African Caribbean communities of Leeds. The discussion centres on the role of the mainstream local press in perpetuating stereotypes of these communities and the impact this was seen to have on the communities themselves. It goes on to consider representation of the same events through the alternative press where this is available (through the 1970s and 1980s) and analyses the different reporting strategies used in the alternative media and the likely impact of this alternative discourse. It argues that the mainstream press used several reporting strategies to represent the African Caribbean communities through binary stereotypes and projected notions of otherness, threat, criminality, docility and displaced them from the concept of British identity. The work has three overarching themes which summarise the representation in each decade; these are respectively, ‘the alien wedge’, ‘the colony within and ‘here to stay’. The thesis concludes that there were subtle differences in the reporting strategies throughout the decades in keeping with a trajectory of assimilation that started with a discourse of outright rejection of ‘coloured’ immigration in the 1960s; the analysis ends at 1989 with the identification of a new way of being British in ‘black Britishness’

Topics: D1, HN, HT
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