6 May 2022 - 7 May 2022 All day Woolf Institute, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0UB


A nation whose sense of history is derived from the history of the struggle of its people mostly non-literate and without formal historians of their own, must boldly enter into its unwritten, invisible record the oral traditions, the collective memory of the people in order to truly reveal what in fact has been achieved.
– Kamau Braithwaite

Lead Convenor

  • Kenny Monrose


  • Joseph Cotton
  • Isabelle Higgins

Speakers include:

  • Christiana Abraham (Concordia University)
  • Audrey Alwood (Goldsmiths University)
  • Gabriella Beckles-Raymond (Independent Researcher)
  • Robert Beckford (University of Winchester)
  • Katrina Ffrench (Founding Director of Unjust C.I.C)
  • Paul Gilroy (University College London)
  • Martin Glynn (Birmingham City University)
  • Laura Henry-Allain MBE (Producer | Storyteller | Speaker)
  • William ‘Lez’ Henry (University of West London)
  • Michael McMillan (University of the Arts London)
  • H Patton (Canterbury Christ Church)
  • Maggie Semple OBE (I-Cubed Group)
  • Levi Tafari (Charles University)
  • Sharon Walker (University of Bristol)
  • Joy White (University of Bedford)

Post Windrush Generation Black British Voices of Resistance collage with speaker portraits.


This pathbreaking conference will explore what it really means to be black in Britain, providing a space for leading black commentators to address a range of core themes including identity, belonging, recognition and resistance.

This event will host leading academics, performers and commentators to chronicle the muted and thorny legacy of race relations in the UK, and the manner in which the Post-Windrush generation have tirelessly fought for recognition, from Thatcherism to Brexit and beyond.

As well as academic enquiry, performative art will lie at the core of this event, as performance has acted a mechanism by which members of the Post-Windrush generation have negotiated multiple layers of discrimination in order to establish a foothold within British society.

The conference opens with an audio-visual journey of New Commonwealth migration to Britain with the arrival of the Empire Windrush in 1948, and will highlight many of the hidden struggles for equal rights and social justice, including the recent very public scandals that have shamed this Government by exposing how whiteness is used to militate against black people. The impact of black contributions to what is now regarded as contemporary British lifestyles and culture, beyond the realms of entertainment and fashion will also be debated in tandem with the ongoing effect of colonialism and imperialism on black life in Britain.

The second day of the conference introduces poets, writers, musicians and choreographers to examine migrant memory and resistance through performance, and how black people have used adapted modes creative expression as a tool of resistance and to strengthen the struggle for social and racial justice during the 70s and early 80s. This will also underscore how art is currently experiencing a renaissance and prompting new questioning and positioning globally, by speaking truth to power.

The aim of this conference is to both reveal how contributors have negotiated racism and racialisation through turbulent political periods, and the personal impact of these forces, but also to celebrate identity and resistance, and in doing so provide a cultural uplift that will impel the event to be exciting and engaging for both academics and non-academics alike.

Conference playlist

Supported by

CRASSH Yellow Logo Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement   

Equality and Diversity logo Faculty of Education logoFaculty of History logo

Woolf Institute logo






If you have any specific accessibility needs for this event please get in touch. We will do our best to accommodate any requests.​

Conference assistance: events@crassh.cam.ac.uk


Registration fee includes all refreshments and lunch
Friday 6 May
9:45 - 10:15



Kenny Monrose (University of Cambridge)

10:30 - 10:50

‘British reggae: resistance and transcendence’
William ‘Lez’ Henry (University of West London)

10:55 - 11:15

‘Jesus dub: doing theology for the black church in music, film and art’
Robert Beckford (University of Winchester)

11:20 - 11:40

‘Liv good’: the intersectionally just good life, an African/Caribbean perspective’
Gabriella Beckles-Raymond (SOAS and Birkbeck University)

11:40 - 12:10


12:10 - 12:40

Panel 1: ‘Resistance and transcendence’
William ‘Lez’ Henry (University of West London)
Robert Beckford (University of Winchester)
Gabriella Beckles-Raymond (SOAS and Birkbeck University)

Chair: Annoa Abekah-Mensah (University of Cambridge)

12:45 - 13:45


13:45 - 14:05

‘The Windrush and the children left behind: in/visible narratives of migration, recognition and belonging’
Christiana Abraham (Concordia University)

14:10 - 14:30

‘Oppression or Protection? Policing and Black British Caribbean Communities’
Katrina Ffrench (UNJUST)

14:35 - 14:55

‘The ‘Windrush generation’ as a discursive construction: the representation of a migrant group’
Sharon Walker (University of Bristol)

14:55 - 15:25


15:25 - 15:55

Panel 2: ‘Narratives of Windrush and migration’
Christiana Abraham (Concordia University)
Katrina Ffrench (UNJUST)
Sharon Walker (University of Bristol)

Chair: Maya McFarlane (University of Cambridge)

15:55 - 16:10


16:15 - 16:45

Keynote Lecture:
‘The undead rebel spirit of the long 1970s’

Paul Gilroy (University College London)

16:45 - 17:15

Paul Gilroy (University College London)

Chair: Martin Glynn (Birmingham City University)

17:15- 17:30

Martin Glynn (Birmingham City University)

17:30 - 19:30

Music and Drinks Reception
With Nzinga Soundz

Saturday 6 May
10:30 - 11:00


11:00 - 11:15

Isabelle Higgins (University of Cambridge)

11:15 - 11:35

‘Reggae theatrics: dub poetry, words, sound, power and resistance’
Martin Glynn (Birmingham City University)

11:40 - 12:00

‘Post-Windrush: next generation Europeans’
Levi Tafari (Charles University)

12:05 - 12:25

‘The front room: diaspora migrant aesthetics in the home’
Michael McMillan (University of the Arts London)

12:25 - 12:55


12:55 - 13:25

Panel 3: ‘Resistance as performance’
Martin Glynn (Birmingham City University)
Levi Tafari (Charles University)
Michael McMillan (University of the Arts London)

Chaired: William ‘Lez’ Henry (University of West London)

13:30 - 14:30


14:30 - 14:50

‘Dancing multiple identities: reggae/dancehall culture, dance, movement and visibility’
‘H’ Patten (IRIE! Dance Theatre)

14:55 - 15:15

‘Reflections on terraformed: young black lives in the inner city’
Joy White (University of Bedfordshire)

15:20 - 15:40

‘Looking ahead: Caribbean community and identity in the fifth generation’
Audrey Allwood (Goldsmiths)

15:40 - 16:10


16:10 - 16:40

Panel 4 ‘Community and identity’
H Patten (IRIE! Dance Theatre)
Joy White (University of Bedfordshire)
Audrey Allwood (Goldsmiths)

Chair: Jenni Skinner (University of Cambridge)

16:40 - 16:55


17:00 - 18:00

Keynote Conversation
Laura Henry-Allain MBE & Maggie Semple OBE

18:00 - 18:15

Isabelle Higgins (University of Cambridge)

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Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk