Racism

Music

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Ultra Mono by Idles
Since 2018’s Joy as an Act of Resistance, Idles’ rise to fame has been rapid. Selling out Alexandra Palace and winning a Brit Award is no easy feat for a left-wing punk/hardcore band with lyrics such as, “My race and class ain’t suitable, so I raise my pink fist and say black is beautiful”. Idles have managed to form a committed base of fans and get their message out to the mainstream. In Ultra Mono, the message of working-class pride and unity is consistent throughout. No doubt the album is shaped by their experiences growing up in austerity Britain.

How a slave uprising in Haiti changed the course of history

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When the masses of Paris overthrew the French aristocracy the ideals of their revolution were adopted by
the slaves of France’s wealthiest colony. Raj Perera tells the story of the successful Haitian Revolution.

A revolutionary uprising forged enslaved Africans on a small Caribbean island into an army of self-emancipation to create the world’s first black republic, in what is known as the Haitian Revolution. The successful insurrection of 1791 was a crack in the arc of history, one painted over by historians of capitalism. Previous slave revolts in the colonies had been put down, but events would propel literate coachman Toussaint L’Ouverture — who had been freed 15 years previously — into the leadership of the revolution.

Pew Catherine Lacey Granta £12.99

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Pew spans a week in a small town in the Southern States of America. A young person is found during the Sunday morning service sleeping on a family pew. Visitors to the town are rare, so the family take this one into their home. The stranger is an enigma, remaining mute, speech and memory almost erased by a past trauma. Hilda, the mother, is determined to fit the stranger into accepted categories, but her insistent questioning gets no response, so the Reverend is invited for dinner.

Slavery: Scotland’s Hidden Shame

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Cat Mackay spoke to filmmakers Don Coutts and David Hayman about their 2018 documentary Slavery: Scotland’s Hidden Shame. Coutts and Hayman travelled to Sierra Leone and Jamaica, bringing to light facts about the Scottish ruling class’s central role in the horrors of the slave trade.

SR: Were you commissioned to make the documentary, or was it your own idea?

Declassified

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In the grounds of Lews castle on the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides there is an impressive monument commemorating the achievements of a certain James Matheson. It was erected in 1880, some two years after his death and renovated in 2006. He was the second biggest landowner in Britain, had been a Liberal MP for over twenty years, was a governor of the Bank of England and for many years was chairman of the giant shipping company P&O. He is celebrated on his monument as ‘a child of God…a good and faithful servant’ who had been welcomed into Heaven.

A disproportionate number of deaths

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Are BAME people more likely to die from Covid-19 because of genetics, diabetes, or even vitamin deficiencies? No, argues Dr Kambiz Boomla, racism lies at the heart of the differing death rates.

The Office of National Statistics last month published figures on who dies of coronavirus. It revealed a shocking truth that the risk of death for south Asians is twice as high as that for whites of the same age, and that blacks have a fourfold increased risk. Behind these figures lie human faces.

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