Escape from the White City

The limits and possibilities of white towns and ghettos are explored by Black Britons every day. The physically and politically restrictive effects of racism are particularly apparent for the non-white residents of all white areas. From Dover to Dundee, Asian, Chinese and African Britons find themselves on the front line of the on-going struggle for the liberation of urban space from tedium and fear.
"The streets look different if you're black", explained one West Essex Asian youth to the LPA, "in a white town at any moment, anytime, you could get attacked, get abused, for no other reason than the fact that you look a bit different. White people have no idea how easy it is for them. They don't have to think. But I always have to be so aware, so alert."
Such testimonies provide invaluable psychogeographical information on the contemporary experience of social oppression. Such data could be used to map the zones of racial hostility, as well as those of integration and anti-racist resistance, within our towns and cities. They could also be used to sensitise the established psychogeographical techniques of urban 'drifting' and 'diversion' to the pervasive effects of racism on people's mobility and environmental perceptions.
The most insightful researchers in this are would necessarily be Black Britons. However, no-one should be excluded from such explorations. Indeed, even the dismal testimonies of white racists could provide useful material on the racial myths and boundaries that thread their way through every street.
Further suggestions, and personal experiences, on this topic are encouraged from readers.


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