In The Homecoming: Voices of the Windrush Generation, Colin Grant uses the personal testimony of over 100 Afro-Caribbean migrants – nurses in Manchester; bus drivers in Bristol; seamstresses in Birmingham; teachers in Croydon; dockers in Cardiff; inter-racial lovers in High Wycombe; and Carnival Queens in Leeds – to show the optimistic country they came too. In more recent years that optimism has been betrayed, from race riots in the 1960s to the hostile environment of today.
Amelia Gentleman, through tenacious investigative and campaigning journalism, and now in The Windrush Betrayal: Exposing the Hostile Environment, identified thousands of people who had lived in Britain almost all their lives only to find that they were classed as illegal immigrants.
Both Gentleman and Grant highlight the huge value that immigration has brought to this country, but point also to disturbing truths about modern Britain. At a time when nation states are pulling up the drawbridges and putting up barriers and walls – despite the need for immigration to renew the country and life and work – they explore how to create better and more tolerant places in the future. Marie-Annick Gournet chairs.
Image credit: Miles Tewson
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