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Colin Babb

Colin Babb, Caribbean Studies MA, University of Warwick, 2009-2011

Colin Babb describes himself as a ‘BBC’, a British Born Caribbean. His family are from Guyana, Guadeloupe and Barbados. Colin fulfilled a life-long interest in West Indian cricket, and the social history of the Caribbean diaspora in Britain, by focussing his MA Caribbean Studies thesis on the impact of West Indian cricket on those of Caribbean birth and descent in Britain.

He described his time as a graduate student at the University of Warwick as an ‘invigorating and rewarding experience’. He was keen to thank Professor Trevor Burnard and Professor David Dabydeen for their ‘inspiration, support and guidance.’

Some of his work at Warwick is in the revised and updated edition of his book, They Gave the Crowd Plenty Fun: West Indian Cricket and its Relationship with the British-resident Caribbean Diaspora (Hansib, 2015) with a foreword by Lord Bill Morris of Handsworth OJ.

They Gave the Crowd Plenty Fun traces the history of the relationship between West Indian cricket and the Caribbean diaspora. From the start of mass immigration to Britain from the Caribbean after the Second World War. His second book for Hansib publications is 1973 and Me: The England v West Indies Test Series and a Memorable Childhood Year (Hansib).

This book was revised and updated in 2022. 1973 and Me is about his life as a young schoolboy born alongside a range of events that year. These include the 1973 West Indies cricket tour of England captained by Rohan Kanhai.

By 1973, West Indies cricket still played a central role as a medium of Caribbean self expression in Britain. In the summer of 1973, could the West Indies produce a set of performances and results to inspire the Caribbean diaspora in Britain?

1973 and Me reveals why 1973 was a landmark year for many of the contributors to the book. The book also reflects on patterns of Caribbean migration to UK, and wider perspectives on comedy, 1970s football, social history, personal identity, and music.

Colin’s writing also includes work for the Dictionary of African Biography (Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University), BBC Food, BBC Learning, and Caribbean Intelligence. He contributed to Homecoming: Voices of the Windrush Generation by Colin Grant (Jonathan Cape), Fire in Babylon: How the West Indies Cricket Team Brought a People to its Feet by Simon Lister (Penguin), and The Bowling was Superfine: West Indian Writing and West Indian Cricket (Peepal Tree).

Colin Babb website: Colin Babb author