in Black resistance to British policing


It has taken nearly a decade for me to research and write this book. It has been rewritten countless times, through journal articles and a thesis, blogs and workshops, conversations and activism. First, I am indebted to all the youth workers and young people I was blessed to work with in community organisations in Nottingham and London, whose energy and insight sparked my interest in this topic. In turning my work into a doctoral thesis, Patricia Daley’s supervision was central. Without her encouragement and guidance, I would not be where I am, and while the learning experience of doctoral research is rarely smooth, it is a necessary, and ultimately enriching, struggle. I am profoundly indebted to many activists, both those who participated directly in my research and those who informed it indirectly. Stafford Scott and Suresh Grover, in particular, have (perhaps unknowingly) tutored me from the beginning – their insights mark every chapter of this book. The time and thought given to both my ideas and my personal development by Vron Ware, Yasmeen Narayan and Gargi Bhattacharyya have been invaluable.

A special thanks to everyone who read a chapter or chapters, or even the whole book, offering criticism, direction and at times some much-needed affirmation. I am eternally grateful to: Luke De Noronha, Mohammed Elnaiem, David Featherstone, Virinder Kalra, Alex Wanjiku Kelbert, Kojo Kyerewaa, Nivi Manchanda, Sofia Mason, Gavin Rand, Robbie Shilliam, Sivamohan Valluvan, Joshua Virasami and Musab Younis. And I have to shout out my informal intellectual communities: ‘RICE’, ‘Kusoma’, ‘Badminton Bolsheviks’, ‘Elma Francois 2.0’ and ‘Afropessimism Ate My Baby’, who have all brought insight, analysis and laughter through their curiosity, comradeship and cutting analysis of racial politics. I never cease to feel fortunate to be in the company of such brilliant minds.

Many thanks to the family and close friends who indulged me by reading through my rough ideas, summaries and the introduction to this book: Terence Elliott-Cooper, Rianna Augustin, Shikila Edward, Susanna Allam and Conrad Appiah. My parents, Colette Elliott and Nigel Cooper, while each quite different, have both played such an integral role in my intellectual and political development; I shall never be able to express how important you both are. Aimée Allam, your patience and support during the many trials I’ve faced over the course of my writing have kept me, and this book, in one piece.


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