Learie Constantine and Race Relations in Britain and the Empire
Who was Learie Constantine? And what can he tell us about the politics of race and race relations in 20th-century Britain and the Empire? Through examining the life, times and opinions of this Trinidadian cricketer-turned-politician, Learie Constantine and Race Relations in Britain and the Empire explores the centrality of race in British politics and society.
Unlike conventional biographical studies of Constantine, this unique approach to his life, and the racially volatile context in which it was lived, moves away from the 'good man' narrative commonly attributed to his rise to pre-eminence as a spokesman against racial discrimination and as the first black peer in the House of Lords. Through detailing how Constantine's idea of 'assimilation' was criticized, then later rejected by successive activists in the politics of race, Jeff rey Hill off ers an alternative and more sophisticated analysis of Constantine's contributions to, and complex relationship with, the fight against racial inequalities inherent in British domestic and imperial society.