HMS Windrush docked in Essex and early migrants from the British colonies and Commonwealth, who helped rebuild post-war Britain, settled in London, South Wales and the Midlands. Initially, they were welcomed before experiencing the overt racism of far-right groups, aggressive government legislation, and a populace riled by rising unemployment. As an act of resistance in the face of difficult circumstances, music was a galvanising force for a burgeoning Black community. With time, this energy coalesced and permeated beyond the inner cities to reach the wider population. As a teen growing up in predominantly white Essex, my attention was captured by a musical form more interesting to me than the popular indie bands of the 90s, and I was fortunate to discover the music of artists and groups such as Moorish Delta 7, Rodney P, and Roots Manuva.
In Where We Come From, Aniefiok has written an absorbing social history of modern Black Britain, offering insights from the trailblazers and subsequent generations who created a culture that we're privileged to witness. Written with a devotion for the music’s heritage that matches the craft of UK Rap and Grime’s pioneers and headliners, this is a standout book to start off the year.
– recommended by Lloyd.
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