This article reflects on the forging of a collective black identity among professionals working within the criminal justice field in the aftermath of the Macpherson Report (1999). Drawing on interviews with the Chairpersons of 'black' and 'Asian' professional associations, it describes the familiar tensions associated with mobilizing against racism and discrimination in the workplace. These include the viability of an inclusive black political position and the challenge of 'fighting from within' or being a 'critical friend' of criminal justice services. The political backdrop is one in which the policy goal of eliminating 'institutional racism' has given way to a discourse of 'promoting race equality and embracing diversity'. Despite the obstacles, these professional associations provide a safe and supportive network for members which is grounded in a powerful, shared history of occupational racism
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