Brian Richardson

The Stuart Hall Project

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For many people on the left and in black communities, the Stuart Hall that we care about is not the disgraced "It's a Knockout" presenter. Instead, the man who enthralled us is one of the foremost post-war thinkers on the left in Britain. In the words of director John Akromfrah he is a "public intellectual" who in the 1970s "was one of the few people of colour we saw on television who wasn't crooning, dancing or running".

The Politics of Immigration

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Brian Richardson examines the battle lines being drawn around immigration. We also publish an extract from the updated pamphlet Immigration: The Myths Spread to Divide Us that puts the case for opposition to all immigration controls.

The next general election is still two years away, but the battle lines are already being drawn. In a series of carefully planned announcements, the mainstream parties have all made it crystal clear that immigration will be at the top of the political agenda. The 2015 election looks set to herald the most racist campaign in a long time.

Django Unchained vs Lincoln

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Two of Hollywood's heavyweight directors are slugging it out for the prestigious best film award at the annual Academy Awards ceremony. The favourite is Lincoln, directed by Steven Spielberg. Also in contention is Django Unchained, the latest offering from Quentin Tarantino.

Both films tackle the sensitive subject of slavery and have attracted considerable critical attention.

Tarantino has divided opinion ever since he exploded onto our screens with films such as Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction in the 1990s. But recently he has been attacked for his approach to race, notably by black director Spike Lee. Having previously criticised Tarantino's repeated use of the "n" word in various films, Lee denounced Django Unchained for trivialising the experience of black people. He described it as "an insult to my ancestors" and urged people to boycott it.

Hamstrung by racism

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Why has racism returned to the "beautiful game"?

The beginning of a new year is traditionally regarded as one of the highlights of the football season. As we enter 2013 however, the self-proclaimed "beautiful game" limps on, hamstrung by a series of events which have exposed the racism that remains endemic and continues to leave an ugly stain. By the end of 2012 this had led to the resignation of former Commission for Racial Equality chair Herman Ouseley from the FA Council and the start of serious discussions about the establishment of a breakaway black players union.

The Olympics: a nation united?

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Now that the hysteria has subsided, Brian Richardson asks whether the Olympics lived up to their promise

"It just cannot get better than this! This is us, our time, our country, our Mo Farah. Crowd of our time; tears of our time. Hope for all time." Those were the words with which journalist Jon Snow greeted Mohammed Farah's victory in the Men's Olympic 5,000 metres final. Elsewhere there was similar hysteria as commentators rushed to celebrate "Team GB". London 2012 was, we were told, a triumph for the nation.

A dangerous enterprise

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Judge Red

A column about socialists and the legal system

The law on joint enterprise is one of the most complex and controversial in criminal law. It can be used to convict people who are said to have acted together while committing an offence. Each defendant is held "liable for the acts done in pursuance of that joint enterprise", including "liability for unusual consequences".

The politics of the Olympics

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The London 2012 Olympics look set to be a jamboree of profiteering and nationalism. Brian Richardson recalls how past Olympics have been the site of struggles against racism

The Olympic Games have been associated with three of the most inspirational moments in the struggle for black emancipation. In August 1936 Jesse Owens confounded and humiliated the Nazi dictator Hitler by winning an unprecedented four gold medals at the games in Berlin. Twenty four years later Cassius Clay was crowned as the light heavyweight boxing champion in Rome. He was lauded on his return to the US, but still found himself refused service in "whites only" restaurants and targeted by racist gangs.

It wasn't the Daily Mail wot won it!

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The Daily Mail has claimed that it drove forward the campaign for justice for Stephen Lawrence. Brian Richardson sets the record straight and argues that the real pressure for justice came from below

Daily Mail editor in chief Paul Dacre is one of the longest serving and most influential people in the press. He is also notoriously reclusive. In the wake of the Stephen Lawrence murder trial verdict, however, he could not contain himself.

After the riots

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The riots that exploded on the streets of London and other English cities last month provoked a vicious backlash by politicians and the media. Brian Richardson argues that the rage people expressed was rooted in the grinding poverty and injustice at the heart of British society.


Photo: Guy Smallman

How many rivers do we have to cross
Before we can talk to the boss?
All we have it seems we have lost
We must have really paid a cost

The many lives of Malcolm X

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Manning Marable, an academic and activist, died in April this year, just three days before the release of his biography of Malcolm X, the great icon of the Black Power Movement.Brian Richardson looks at this landmark book and the extraordinary life of Malcolm X

Malcolm X is unquestionably the great icon of the Black Power Movement. His emergence in the mid-1960s sparked one of the most exciting and dramatic episodes in the history of black struggle in the United States. There had been a rising tide of anti-racist struggle from the mid-1950s onwards. The Civil Rights Movement led by Dr Martin Luther King Jr succeeded both in desegregating many municipal and private facilities across the Southern states and forcing the US federal government into passing civil and voting rights legislation in 1964 and 1965.

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