Race and Riots in Thatcher's Britain
Dr. Simon Peplow, History
Throughout my work, I undertake oral history interviews regarding the experiences and political activities/tactics of black communities in Britain. For instance, while the 1980s anti-police disturbances have been discussed and written about in some detail, such accounts have often overlooked the voices of those actually involved in various capacities – including those involved in the ‘riots’, local and national activists organising in the aftermath, and representatives from local/national government and the police. In discussing the experiences, motivations, and expectations of those involved in the disturbances and anti-racism more broadly in the decade, such interviews aim to ensure that these ‘forgotten’ perspectives can be included within historical narratives.
Additionally, I am an interviewer for the History of Parliament's oral history project creating a sound archive of people involved in politics at national and constituency level, which will provide a unique record of post-Second World War British political history. These interviews go beyond the current record of political activities, considering the events and experiences that encouraged and sustained an involvement in politics. The life stories gathered in these interviews are deposited and available to access at the British Library, and interview extracts will be included in a forthcoming publication.
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