This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book examines the micro-geographies of young people and draws attention to the social practices, discourses and networks that directly or indirectly (re)shape how they make sense of and negotiate life in Belfast. It focuses on how everyday life is accomplished by young people living in divided cities, using Belfast as a case study. The book explores the historical development of Belfast as a segregated city, focusing particularly on the outbreak of the 'Troubles' in 1969 and the subsequent division of territory by peace walls. It demonstrates the continuing segregated nature of Belfast in terms of housing and education. The book discusses young people's attitudes to the marking of territory through a range of visual ethno-national emblems and assesses the extent to which this influences their spatial movements.
The introduction chapter depicts a common story of thousands of Black migrants to Canada from various Caribbean islands and territories. Contact with a cricket and social club was critical for settling in Toronto’s urban and suburban neighbourhoods, finding (mainly) middle-class jobs, returning home to their nations of origin for visits, and travelling to Black plurilocal homespaces created in Canada, the Caribbean, the United States, and England. The Mavericks Cricket and Social Club (MCSC) involved sport, spectatorship, food, music, dancing, travelling, and socializing that were crucial for recreating the sense of home necessary for Black men’s survival in a city rife with interpersonal and systemic racism. The chapter outlines the ways in which cricket is an essential yet often forgotten component of Black Atlantic cultures and Canadian socio-politics The chapter describes the MCSC participants and researcher involved in this study; reviews the sociological processes of making and crossing group boundaries; and sets the context for the book by reviewing a range of literatures including the Black Atlantic and the Caribbean diaspora in Canada, studies of sporting diasporas, the narrative inquiry approach used, and the contents of the remaining book chapters.