The Black And Black British Diaspora

2184 Words9 Pages
Critically examine the ways through which the Black British diaspora has been imagined and represented by the theorisations of Paul Gilroy and others. Why does Gilroy (and others) suggest his notion of ‘The Black Atlantic’ as useful for re-imagining black identities?


This essay will analyse the concept of ‘The Black Atlantic’ by sociologist Paul Gilroy. Written almost 20 years ago, it is an important concept which has been celebrated as instrumental in the re-imagining of black culture. Its framework will be examined by referencing its history and exploring some of its influences from other theorists such as Stuart Hall. Following this contextual background, its impact will be discussed on its significance to the black
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Challenging the taboo between the integration of white and black, it theorised a new modernity of hybridity in culture over the transatlantic space, shaping a new ‘transnational’ concept. Gilroys theory aimed to get rid of the sociological imagination of ‘race’ and instead appreciate the cultural heritage and influence of people. This spawned new arguments, theories and research, which helped to combine areas in a new age of interdisciplinary subjects; influencing the study of sociology, geography, politics, anthropology, art and many other areas. Gilroy specifically shows a very deep connection to music and creativity, demonstrating how these traits make a profound transformation in society. For example, the evolution of music represents how the deep-rooted pain of black culture has mixed with the romanticised white culture in a hybrid form to create something new. This expressed interest focused on a select few avant-garde individuals, who connected to this African transatlantic blackness and these intellectuals inspired his main concepts such as W.E.B. De Bois’ theory of 'double consciousness ', which Gilroy has added as a subtext to his book. Concentrating on his influence on the state of the black british diaspora, Gikandi (2014: 242) believes that ‘Gilroy provided his readers with a paradigm for thinking about cultural relations outside the
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