Meghji Ali
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Revisiting race and nation
Double consciousness, Black Britishness, and cultural consumption
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This chapter considers how Black middle-class people use cultural consumption to contest the polarisation of Blackness and Britishness. It sketches out a brief history of this polarisation, looking at how the present replicates the past. I then analyse Black middle-class cultural consumption through the lens of double consciousness. First, I look at how those towards strategic assimilation often construe Black Britishness as two identities needing to be reconciled. Such participants therefore consume cultural forms bringing together what they see as traditional British cultural forms with traditional Black diasporic cultural forms. Those towards the ethnoracial autonomous identity mode display Black British double consciousness through the notion of a gifted ‘second sight’, therefore using cultural forms as a means to specifically critique British post-racialism.

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Black middle class Britannia

Identities, repertoires, cultural consumption


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