Identity in Multiracial British and American Society

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Identity in multiracial British and American society For many years, notions of identity within British culture seemed stable and unchanging. However, according to Windrush: The Irresistible Rise of Multi-Racial Britain by Trevor Phillips and Mike Phillips, this began to change with the changing complexion of English society. England was no longer divided by class or even by regions or nations of origin during the postwar era. An influx of West African immigrants fundamentally destabilized what it meant to be 'British.' In contrast, as chronicled in the 1887 short story by Charles Chesnutt's "The Goophered Grapevine," the presence of African-Americans was just as often used to affirm the whiteness and self-perceived superiority of the majority. African-Americans must use conjuring and lies to assert themselves over the whites that dominate society because of their socially marginalized status. The Phillips' brothers' book gets its name from the Empire Windrush, a ship that transported former West Indian soldiers to Great Britain. The soldiers were willing immigrants, who had served with distinction in the British Army and sought to better their lot in life. There was a substantial influx of West Indians after the arrival of the Windrush in 1948, and their numbers grew after the United States passed immigration controls in the 1950s. Great Britain was to limit immigration itself in the 1960s, but in the years when it was still liberalized, the numbers of nonwhites grew
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