The Old and New Ethnicities of Postcolonial Black (British)ness

  • Denise Noble
Part of the Thinking Gender in Transnational Times book series (THINKGEN)


The politics of Black identity are shaped by the ongoing tension between Black identity as a category of subjection and rule, and Black identity as the embodied site of racialized being as an ongoing act of creative self-making in resistance to coercive racialization and racist oppression. While the latter is in part the effect of racist subjection, it is also an ethical location from which to challenge racism, and to produce meaning and existence beyond and against the disciplinary weight of Western humanism’s narcissistic representation of the human and the racist logics of Western modernity.


  1. Ali, Suki. 2003. Mixed-Race, Post-Race: Gender, New Ethnicities and Cultural Practices. London, New York: Berg.Google Scholar
  2. Brah, Avtar. 1996. Cartographies of Diaspora: Contesting Identities. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Brown, Wendy. 1993. Wounded Attachments. Political Theory 21 (3): 390–410.Google Scholar
  4. ———. 1995. States of Injury: Power and Freedom in Late Modernity. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bulmer, Martin. 1999. Ethnicity Overview. The Question Bank, Social Surveys on Line. Accessed 13 March 2005.
  6. Centre for Race Equality. 2005. Ethnic Monitoring Categories for England and Wales. Accessed 15 January 2007.
  7. Chen, Kuan-Hsing. 1996. The Formation of a Diasporic Intellectual: An Interview with Stuart Hall. In Stuart Hall: Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies, ed. David Morley and Kuan-Hsing Chen. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Cohen, Robin. 1998. Cultural Diasporas: The Caribbean Case. In Caribbean Migration: Global Identities, ed. Mary Chamberlain, 21–35. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Dyer, Richard. 1993. The Matter of Images: Essays on Representation. London, New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Fanon, Frantz. 1986 [1952]. Black Skin, White Masks. London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  11. Fryer, Peter. 1984. Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  12. Gallagher, Shaun. 1992. Introduction: The Hermeneutics of Ambiguity. In Merleau-Ponty, Hermeneutics, and Postmodernism, ed. Thomas W. Busch and Shaun Gallagher. New York: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  13. Goldberg, David T. 2002. The Racial State. Malden, MA, Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  14. Hall, Stuart. 1990. Cultural Identity and Diaspora. In Identity: Community, Culture, Difference, ed. Jonathan Rutherford. London: Lawrence & Wishart.Google Scholar
  15. ———. 1993. What’s This ‘Black’ in Black Popular Culture? Social Justice 20 (1/2): 51–52. Rethinking Race (Spring–Summer), 104–114. Accessed 22 August 2012.
  16. ———. 1996. New Ethnicities. In Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies, ed. David Morley and Kuan-Hsing Chen. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Hall, Stuart, and Les Back. 2009. At Home and Not at Home: Stuart Hall in Conversation with Les Back. Cultural Studies 23 (4): 658–688. Goldsmiths Research Online.
  18. Harris, Roxy. 2009. Black British, Brown British and British Cultural Studies. Cultural Studies 23 (4): 483–512.Google Scholar
  19. Hesse, Barnor. 1993. Black to Front and Black Again: Racialisation Through Contested Times and Spaces. In Place and the Politics of Identity, ed. Michael Keith and Stephen Pile. London, New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. ———. 1997. White Governmentality: Urbanism, Nationalism, Racism. In Imagining Cities, ed. Sallie Westwood and John M. Williams. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. ———. 2000. Black Britain’s Postcolonial Formations. In Un/Settled Multiculturalisms: Diasporas, Entanglements, ‘Transruptions’, ed. Barnor Hesse. London, New York: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  22. ———. 2014. Escaping Liberty Western Hegemony, Black Fugitivity. Political Theory 42 (3): 288–313.Google Scholar
  23. Higgins, Charlotte. 2012. What Danny Boyle’s Olympics Opening Ceremony Said about Britain’s Cultural Landscape. The Guardian, Saturday July 28, 2012. Accessed 6 June 2016.
  24. Ifekwunigwe, Jayne O., ed. 2015. ‘Mixed Race’ Studies: A Reader. London, New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Jacobs, Jane M. 1996. Eastern Trading: Diasporas, Dwelling and Place. In Edge of Empire: Postcolonialism and the City. New York, London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. Julien, Isaac, and Kobena Mercer. 1996. De Margin and De Centre. In Stuart Hall: Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies, ed. David Morley and Kuan-Hsing Chen. London, New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  27. Lentin, Alana. 2000. ‘Race’, Racism and Anti-Racism: Challenging Contemporary Classifications. Social Identities 6 (1): 91–106.Google Scholar
  28. Malik, Kenan. 1996. The Meaning of Race: Race, History and Culture in Western Society. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  29. McLaughlin, Joseph. 2000. Writing the Urban Jungle: Reading Empire in London from Doyle to Eliot. Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia.Google Scholar
  30. McMillan, Michael. 2009. The Front Room: Migrant Aesthetics in the Home. London: Black Dog Publishing.Google Scholar
  31. Modood, Tariq. 1997. Difference, Cultural Racism and Anti-Racism. In Debating Cultural Hybridity: Multicultural Identities and the Politics of Anti-Racism, ed. Pnina Werbner and Tariq Modood. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  32. Narayan, Yasmeen. 2009. On Post-Colonial Authority, Caribbeanness, Reiteration and Political Community. Cultural Studies 23 (4): 605–623.Google Scholar
  33. Parker, David. 1995. Through Different Eyes: The Cultural Identities of Young Chinese People in Britain. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  34. Phillips, Mike, and Trevor Phillips. 1998. Windrush: The Irresistible Rise of Multi-Racial Britain. London: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  35. Porter, Bernard. 2004. The Absent-Minded Imperialists: Empire, Society and Culture in Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  36. ———. 2008. Further Thoughts on Imperial Absent-Mindedness. The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 36 (1): 101–117.Google Scholar
  37. Pratt, Mary L. 1992. Imperial Eyes: Travel, Writing and Transculturation. New York, London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  38. Puri, Shalini. 2004. The Caribbean Postcolonial: Social Equality, Post-Nationalism and Cultural Hybridity. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  39. Quijano, Aníbal. 2007. Coloniality and Modernity/Rationality. Cultural Studies 21 (2–3): 168–178.Google Scholar
  40. Stepan, Nancy Leys. 1986. Race and Gender: The Role of Analogy in Science. Isis 77: 261–277.Google Scholar
  41. Stoler, Ann L. 2002. Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule. Berkeley, London: University of California.Google Scholar
  42. Trotz, D. Alissa. 2006. Rethinking Caribbean Transnational Connections: Conceptual Itineraries. Global Networks 6 (1): 41–59.Google Scholar
  43. Weheliye, Alexander G. 2014. Habeas Viscus: Racialising Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human. Kindle ed. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Wenger, Etienne. 1999. Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Wilderson III, Frank B. 2017. Reciprocity and Rape: Blackness and the Paradox of Sexual Violence. Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory 27 (1): 104–111.Google Scholar
  46. Wynter, Sylvia. 1992. No Humans Involved: An Open Letter to My Colleagues. Voices of the African Diaspora 8 (2): 12–16.Google Scholar
  47. ———. 1994. No Humans Involved: An Open Letter to My Colleagues. Forum N.H.I. Knowledge for the 21st Century 1 (1): 42–73.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Open Access This chapter is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 International License (, which permits any noncommercial use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license and indicate if changes were made.

The images or other third party material in this chapter are included in the chapter's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the chapter's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Denise Noble
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and CriminologyBirmingham City UniversityBirminghamUK

Personalised recommendations